Jabari Parker receives 'professional' help

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Jabari Parker receives 'professional' help

2012 was an interesting year for Jabari Parker. The Simeon senior began the year as the No. 1 player in the country, regardless of class. But by the end of the summer, Parker found himself dealing with an injury to his foot and a drop to the No. 2 spot nationally. Huntington Prep's Andrew Wiggins emerged as the No. 1-ranked preps player from the class of 2013.

Through it all, Parker has maintained an air of positivity about him, choosing not to play into any perceived rivalry between himself and Wiggins. Instead, he decided to keep himself focused on his rehab, his Wolverines team, and where he would go to college. On Dec. 20, Parker announced he'd be attending Duke.

As an elite athlete from a high school with a powerful basketball tradition, Parker's received access to hoops sources and sage advice that the majority of young athletes can't get.

For Parker, the advice and words of wisdom came from Bulls superstar and Simeon alum Derrick Rose and current Los Angeles Clipper and Duke University great, Grant Hill. Both players, at different times, helped Parker through their own individual experience and the young superstar took the information he received from the two basketball greats to heart.

I talked to Derrick during his recruiting process when he was trying to go to Memphis, recalls Parker who is acquainted with Rose because hes been around the Simeon program since he was in the 7th grade. He said that it was good for him because he was going to play right away at the guard position. He also said that it was good to have a good relationship with the coach and whos going to push you and not tell you everything that you want to hear.

Hanging on the words of one of the best players Chicago has ever seen, Parker made a decision to play for a coach in Mike Krzyzewski who will indeed push him and help move him even closer to reaching his potential as a basketball player.

And now that hes officially a part of the Duke family, Parker revealed that when he was hurt, he was in communication with Hill, who happens to know a thing or two about injuries. The 17-year NBA veteran was able to counsel Parker on how to manage his own.

I talked to Grant and he just told me not to rush the process with my injury, said Parker. He had the same problems with his feet so he knows what thats like.

Parker returned to the court on Dec. 1 for the first time since July. He struggled through Simeons games early in the season, but after aggressively attacking his rehab, the All-American has slowly shown improvement in terms of the health of his foot, his conditioning and his on-court play. He finally appeared to have broken out during the Wolverines' march to a championship at the 2012 Pontiac Holiday Tournament.

Parker was given the tournaments A.C. Williams Award after averaging 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds, becoming the first player to win the award three times.

But despite the individual success he achieves for what he does on the court and the attention he receives, Parker is still focused on getting better as a player and seeing his Simeon Wolverines continue to get better as a group.

All we want right now is a healthy team in February. Weve had to play with different groups of guys along the line and thats going to help us become more versatile as a team, said Parker before joking that the teams cohesiveness and flexibility will help him the most as the elder statesman and veteran of the group.

I dont have the young legs anymore, quipped Parker. Im old. Im a vet right now.

61 Days To Kickoff: Brooks College Prep

61 Days To Kickoff: Brooks College Prep

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: Brooks College Prep

Head coach: Benjamin McCall

Assistant Coaches: O James, G McKinnis, J Daniel, N Winters

How they fared in 2016: 3-6 (1-4 CPL Illini Prairie State conference), failed to qualify for the 2016 IHSA state playoffs.

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 – @ Kaneland

Sept. 1 – @ Linblom @ Linblom Park

Sept. 8 – vs Solorio @ Gately

Sept. 16 - @ Kenwood @ Gately

Sept. 23 - vs Hubbard @ Gately

Sept. 29 – vs Morgan Park @ Gately

Oct. 7 - vs Perspectives @ Gately

Oct. 12 - @ Goode 

CPL Playoffs TBA

Biggest storyline: Can the talented but young Eagles team in 2017 soar?

Names to watch this season:  Junior QB Darrin Cotton Jr. Senior OL/LB Jordan Cason

Biggest holes to fill: The Eagles will need to reload in a few key spots this season most importantly in the defensive backfield with just one starter back in junior Joel Barrows (6-foot-3, 185 pounds).

EDGY's Early Take: Brooks has some impressive young talent to watch including junior QB Darrin Cotton Jr. who could be one of the top names to watch from the Chicago Public League in the Class of 2019. If head coach Benjamin McCall can get his remaining underclassmen group to develop the Eagles could be a nice surprise team to watch this fall. 

62 Days To Kickoff: North Chicago

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62 Days To Kickoff: North Chicago

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: North Chicago

Head coach: Addonte Adams

Assistant Coaches: Jamal Patterson OC Wilton Hill Joshua Franklin Orlando Kilpatrick

How they fared in 2016: 3-6 (2-5 Northern Lake County conference), failed to qualify for the 2016 IHSA state playoffs.

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 – @ Waukegan

Sept. 1 – vs Robeson

Sept. 8 – @ Round Lake

Sept. 15 - vs Grayslake North

Sept. 22 - @ Grant

Sept. 29 – vs Wauconda

Oct. 6 - vs Grayslake Central

Oct. 13 - @ Antioch

Oct. 20 - vs Lakes

Biggest storyline: Can the Warhawks get back to winning and into the state playoff field in 2017?

Names to watch this season:  Senior LB Garrett Turner Senior WR/DB Ishaun Walker Senior QB/ATH Dyshaun Gates

Biggest holes to fill: The Warhawks return a ton of starters from a season ago, however just one starter is back on the offensive line in senior OC Joseph Gaiden.

EDGY's Early Take: It's been a while since the Warhawks have been a threat in either the conference or in the state playoffs, yet that could change in 2017. North Chicago went young last season and gained a ton of playing experience in 2016. If head coach Addonte Adams can get his Warhawks to buy into his program, this has the potential of becoming a team to watch this fall.