Ali Parker Biography & Facts
Jabari Ali Parker (born March 15, 1995) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the second overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, after one season of playing for Duke University. Parker was a standout high school athlete, helping his team win four straight Illinois state championships for Simeon Career Academy, and was named the National High School Player of the Year by Gatorade and McDonald's. In his freshman year for the 2013–14 Duke Blue Devils, he was named a consensus first-team All-American, the USBWA National Freshman of the Year, and the runner-up for the John R. Wooden Award (College Player of the Year).
Despite being among the most accomplished high school basketball players in American history, Parker has been often referred to as a draft bust due to his lack of success in the NBA.
Parker was born and raised in Chicago's South Shore community area. Parker's father, Sonny, has served hundreds of Chicago metropolitan area children as youth foundation director since 1990. Parker discovered basketball in one of his father's many leagues, although his father has never coached one of his teams. He honed his basketball skills with his brother Christian on the basketball court at his local meetinghouse of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in the Hyde Park community area in order to avoid the hazards of urban playgrounds. By second grade his basketball skills were superior to those of the fifth-graders he played with, and he competed in middle school leagues as a fifth grader. He credits his cousin Jay Parker for pushing him to be better, starting when Jabari was in third grade and Jay was in fifth. Sometimes, Jabari and Christian played basketball all through the night at the church. Jabari made the eighth-grade team as a fourth-grader, but could not play until fifth grade due to the school district's insurance policy. In fifth grade, he had five Division I scholarship offers as a 6-foot (1.83 m) guard. In sixth grade, when he stood at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m), he visited Simeon for a day and scrimmaged with Derrick Rose. Parker attended Robert A. Black Magnet Elementary and made headlines when he made Simeon Career Academy his high school choice, just like Rose, Nick Anderson, Ben Wilson, Bobby Simmons and Deon Thomas before him. Though Parker has two older sisters who also attended Simeon, his choice was based on a goal of achieving the most championships. Parker told the Chicago Tribune, "That's the reason I picked Simeon, because I knew it was going to be possible to reach four state championships." During the summer after finishing middle school, he received a National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp invitation, which he accepted. By this time, he stood at 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m).
High school career
Parker was the first freshman to start on the Simeon varsity team in school history. Over the course of the season, he contributed 19.3 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game, and 3.0 assists per game, while his team won the IHSA Class 4A state championship with a 25–9 record. By the end of the season, he had received numerous scholarship offers, including those from Illinois, Kansas, DePaul, Pittsburgh, Northwestern, Florida, Washington, BYU and Oregon State as well as significant interest from Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina. He earned the ESPN HS 2010 Freshman of the Year. He was a MaxPreps.com second team 2009-10 Boys Basketball Freshman All-American Team selection.
As a sophomore, Parker helped his team spend much of the season ranked nationally in the top five. That season, he averaged 15.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, while his team won the IHSA Class 4A state championship with a 30–2 record. He earned second team All-State recognition from the Chicago Tribune, while the Chicago Sun-Times listed him as a Class 4A All-State first-team selection with Ryan Boatright, Tracy Abrams, David Sobolewski and Frank Kaminsky. The 12-man Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Class 3A/4A boys' all-state first team included these five and Wayne Blackshear, Johnny Hill, Mike Shaw, Nnanna Egwu, Sam Thompson, Anthony Davis and Mycheal Henry. He earned the ESPN HS 2011 Sophomore of the year. He was a MaxPreps.com first team 2010-11 Boys Basketball Sophomore All-American Team selection.
During his junior year preseason, Parker participated in the July 2011 LeBron James Skill Academy, and he was one of a handful of juniors invited to the August 5–7, 2011 5th annual Nike Global Challenge, where he earned tournament MVP honors.During the season, Parker established the Simeon single-game scoring record with 40 points in 21 minutes of play to go along with 16 rebounds and 6 blocked shots against Perspectives High School. As a junior in high school, he received offers from Duke, Kansas, BYU, Kentucky, UNC, and others. On February 17, Parker and Simeon won the Public League championship by defeating Curie Metropolitan High School 53–49. Both the semifinals and finals were broadcast on ESPN3. Coaches Izzo, Krzyzewski, Matta, and Weber as well as Mayor Emanuel and cadres of their assistants were among those in attendance to see this March 6 IHSA sectional semifinal against Young won by Simeon 52–42 in which Parker led the way with 18 points and 6 rebounds. In the days prior to the state final four, Parker stated that although Coach Weber had been fired, he remained interested in Illinois and other in-state schools such as DePaul and Northwestern. Parker had 15 points in the March 17 championship game 50–48 victory over the Sterling Brown-led Proviso East High School, resulting in a 33–1 junior year record for Simeon. The state semifinals and the finals were broadcast live on ESPN3. For the season, Parker averaged 19.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 3.3 blocks and 1.4 steals per game or 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 3.4 blocks and 1.5 steals per game, depending on the source, while shooting 55 percent from the field, 39 percent from 3-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line. Following the season, he was featured in a May cover story in Sports Illustrated with the title "The Best High School Basketball Player since LeBron James Is . . . Jabari Parker but There's Something More Important to Him than Instant NBA Stardom: His Faith". The story presented his humility and noted that he is conflicted on his decision to serve as an LDS Church missionary. Parker announced that he anticipated trimming his potential schools to a list of five by the end of the summer so that he could plan official visits.For his efforts during his junior year, Parker earned several accolades. The Chicago Sun-Times named him to the Class 4A All-State first team along with Jahlil Okafor, Keith Carter, Darius Paul and Fred VanVleet. He .... Discover the Ali Parker popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Ali Parker books.