What else would you like to know about Jabari Parker?
The Duke freshman was recently featured in a lengthy USA Today article by Nicole Auerbach. In this article you will learn …
- Jabari was basically raised while playing on a basketball court (including the local LDS Church court).
- He spent hours watching old basketball games or NBA Hardwood Classic documentaries.
- He is drawing comparisons to former Duke star Grant Hill.
- His father, Sonny, one of the big inspirations in his life, has been slowed by a kidney disease that requires treatment three times a week.
“A lot of his work was behind closed doors,” Parker said of his father in the article. “That’s what I want to do with my life. Be a good person when all the lights are off. When everybody doesn’t need to see you, shine and know that you know you did the right thing at the end of the day.”
- He wears contacts as well as orthotics for his feet.
- Finally, Jabari means “valiant” in Swahili. Ali, his middle name, comes from Muhammad Ali.
“Sonny didn’t want to name him after him,” Lola Parker, his mother said in the article. “He didn’t want people to compare him to him. Those are hard shoes to be filled. You’re always going to be labeled.”
Auerbach also wrote a piece for USA Today exploring the comparisons between Hill and Parker.
“There are some (similarities),” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told Auerbach. “First of all, the type of young man they are. Exquisite. Great parents. Strong values. Good student. Team guy. A lot of comparisons in that regard.
“As far as a player, they’re different players – even though they keep showing his dunk. Grant was more of a guard. Jabari could actually play everywhere. Grant was not an inside player. Grant is the most graceful player I coached in college. Jabari could end up being very powerful. He has grace, don’t get me wrong, but Jabari is bigger than Grant.”
What does Hill think?
“With the dunk and the versatility, I can see where people make the comparison – and I’m flattered,” Hill said in the article. “Shoot. Hey, if you want to compare me to him that’s great. I think he’s sensational.
“He’s Jabari. He’s a guy who has an amazing skill set, can do a number of things and the beauty is he’s still learning. … I do certainly enjoy watching him play.”
In other LDS athlete news, Texas Tech safety Tanner Jacobson is leaving college football for the mission field.
The walk-on announced he will leave the team to serve a Mormon Mission for the next two years after he plays in the Holiday Bowl against Arizona State, according to Lubbockonline.com.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound former Southlake Carroll standout has compiled 40 tackles, including one tackle for loss. He’s has also been credited with a two caused fumbles, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.