Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Jabari Parker, The Nation's No. 2 Basketball Recruit, Committed To Duke For The Dukiest Reasons Possible

Illustration for article titled Jabari Parker, The Nations No. 2 Basketball Recruit, Committed To Duke For The Dukiest Reasons Possible

Well, Duke is still doing Duke things, apparently. If you thought the nation's top black Mormon whose father played in the NBA would commit to some other school—like Michigan State, say, or BYU—you were truly mistaken. He is the Dukiest Dukie that ever Duked. Consider this, from Jeff Benedict's story in Sports Illustrated:

Krzyzewski also talked about coaching the Olympic team. Parker was familiar with the fact that Olympians LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have both indicated that if they'd gone to college they would have chosen Duke. But it was something Krzyzewski said at the end of his visit that impacted Parker the most. "Jabari, a good name is better than anything you can achieve in this life," he told him.

After Krzyzewski's visit, Jabari's older brother, Christian, tried to help Jabari narrow his decision.
"If there was one coach you could play for, who would it be?" he said.
"Coach Wooden," Jabari said.
"Well he's no longer here. So who is your second choice?"
"There is only person now that is close to him. Coach K."


(That SI had such a thorough story posted immediately after Parker's announcement today means the magazine must have agreed to embargo the news of Parker's decision. SI's call isn't terribly surprising, although it says a good deal about the respective fortunes of print journalism and teenagers who excel at basketball.)

Parker is Dukey. So, so Dukey. John Wooden hadn't coached since 1975 when he passed away in 2010. Why didn't Parker go all the way and say he wanted to play for James Naismith?


Parker even made a rubric to commemorate his Dukiness:

Coach: Duke
Academics: Duke/Stanford
Basketball: Michigan State
Environment: Duke
Spirituality: Undecided

I haven't seen one of those since prep school. Is it a good sign or bad one that he didn't rank Duke tops in basketball? At first it seems humble—quite un-Duke. But Duke is ranked No. 1 in the country. Michigan State currently sits at No. 20. So his ranking instead reads like transparently false modesty, and that, my friends, is as Duke as it gets.

The SI story's kicker also explains just what ACC fans—Duke is still in the ACC, right?—are in for next year, and possibly beyond:

After Krzyzewski left Parker's house on Tuesday, Jabari and Christian had a heart-to-heart. Christian then quoted a verse from Matthew 7:16: "By their fruits ye shall know them." Jabari paused and felt at peace with his decision when Christian said, "Coach K can show you the fruit."


Yep. Get ready to see those Nike ads with pitchforks and obnoxious slogans again. But this time, they'll have, like, a banana impaled on the fork's tines. Ugh.

A behind-the-scenes look at Jabari Parker's decision to attend Duke [SI]

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