Jabari Parker: The Next Carmelo Anthony or Paul Pierce


Jabari Parker: The Next Carmelo Anthony or Paul Pierce

When Jabari Parker held his nationally televised press conference on where hed be attending college next fall, after deciding that playing for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University was the best thing for him, there werent many questions asked of him afterward on how he thinks hell fit in with the Blue Devils.

Instead, many of the queries directed at the Simeon senior focused on the 2014 NBA Draft and if Parker had any intentions of making himself available for it. Although many pundits predict him to be a one-and-done college player, it still seems strange to ask a kid who hasnt even finished his senior year of high school, questions about the NBA.

However, given Parker's status as one of the countrys most elite prep players, those kinds of questions come with the territory.

The Simeon star, of course, is used to it, but when talking to him about basketball and the topic switches to the NBA and his thoughts on his own pro prospects, Parker likes to casually and gracefully sidestep the question, preferring to focus on the moment and not get too far ahead of himself. But that doesnt mean he doesnt think about playing ball at the highest level.

And just as hes an excellent student in the classroom, he takes that same focus and attention to detail when watching NBA basketball as he studies players and tries to incorporate things from their game into his.

When I watch the NBA, I just try and study individuals, not so much the team game, explains Parker, whose approach is a sound one considering his makeup as a player.

At 6-foot-8 with a sweet shooting stroke, Parker is a matchup problem on most nights for guys guarding him on the perimeter. But he also has a rapidly improving low-post game as well. Hes able to effectively use his size, strength, and craftiness around the basket, making him a tough cover on the blocks.

This is why hes projected to be a top pick whenever he does decide to declare for the draft. And like most players of his ilk, when he watches NBA basketball, it not for enjoyment. He watches to learn, so he studies the best because steel sharpens steel.

I like to watch a lot of Michael Jordan and how he switches directions; how he stops and changes speeds, explains Parker. I watch Kobe Bryant and his footwork and back-to-the-basket game. I like LeBron James and how he plays in transition. I also like Carmelo Anthony too.

Because of his skills and abilities, many people have compared Parker to New York Knicks star, Carmelo Anthony, and its a comparison the high school All-American is comfortable with.

Melo and I are about the same height; probably about the same skill level, too, says Parker. We have kind of the same moves, so yeah, I pattern my game after him a lot.

Pattering your game after a guy like Anthony isnt necessarily a bad thing, either. Hes been one of the NBAs premier scorers for nearly a decade and has the New York Knicks in first place in the Eastern Conference, making him an early season MVP candidate.

But theres another current NBA player and future Hall of Famer that tends to remind people of Jabari as well.

I think Carmelo is a little bit quicker; he moves better laterally, said teammate Kendrick Nunn. So if I have to say anybody, I think its Paul Pierce. Hes the closest one to Jabari right now.

Point guard Jaylon Tate thinks its much tougher to pinpoint the NBA player that most resembles Parker right now, but considers him a combination of both Anthony and Pierce.

Its tough because he has a good combination as a player hes a guard and a forward, said Tate in his analysis. He can handle the ball like a guard and he can get in the post and score. But I see him being a combination of Carmelo and Paul Pierce. Pierce can really score on the outside like Jabari can, and Carmelo is really good in the post. But in a way, hes really just his own special type of player.

94 Days to Kickoff: Oswego Panthers

94 Days to Kickoff: Oswego Panthers

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Oswego

Head coach: Brian Cooney

Assistant coaches: Marc Kersting, Karl Hoinkes, John Harazin, Steve Gregory, John Hugunin, Greg Verdino, Ben Wilson

How they fared in 2016: 10-1, 9-0 in Southwest Prairie Conference

2017 regular-season schedule:

Aug. 25 — vs. Minooka

Sept. 1 — at Plainfield North

Sept. 8 — vs. Joliet West

Sept. 15 — at Plainfield East

Sept. 22 — vs. Romeoville

Sept. 29 — vs. Oswego East

Oct. 6 — at Joliet Central

Oct. 13 — vs. Plainfield South

Oct. 20 — at Plainfield Central

Biggest storyline: Can the Panthers reload, especially on the offensive side of the football with just four starters back from the 2016 season?

Names to watch this season: offensive and defensive lineman Noah Shannon (a Minnesota commit), defensive back Josh Shodipo, quarterback Levi Olson

Biggest holes to fill: The Panthers will look for help at the offensive skill positions this summer.

EDGY's Early Take: Oswego has won 46 straight Southwest Prairie conference games, and the Panthers remain the team to beat in that league. Oswego has some serious star power, and this remains a hard-nosed, tough football team that is always a tough matchup in Class 8A.

95 Days to Kickoff: St. Joseph Chargers


95 Days to Kickoff: St. Joseph Chargers

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: St. Joseph

Head coach: Rich Petroski

Assistant Coaches:   Tewan Brown, Chris Bridgett, Rich Sible, Alex Puente, Adam Polak, Pierre Walters, Chris Ricca, Lavar Steptor,

How they fared in 2016: 7-3 (2-0 Chicago Catholic League Red).

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 26 –@ Elmwood Park

Sept. 2 – @ South Beloit

Sept. 8 – vs Catalys Maria

Sept. 15 - vs Chicago Hope

Sept. 22 - @ St. Ignatius

Sept. 29 – @ DePaul

Oct. 6 - vs Brother Rice

Oct. 13 - vs Leo

Oct. 20 - @ Aurora Christian

Biggest storyline: Can the Chargers make a return visit to the IHSA state playoff in 20o17?

Names to watch this season: Senior WR/S Zach Ford Senior OL/DL Shamar Bishop-McDade

Biggest holes to fill: The Chargers welcome back just three starters on offense from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: The Chargers and then first year head coach Rich Petroski led the program to it's first state playoff appearance in school history in 2016. While St. Joe's will need to reload in some key spots, they have a chance to make another run at a state playoff spot again in 2017.