Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox didn’t get the first Parker brother he went for -- but 13 years later, he got a crack at another one. He got his man this time around.
Shooting guard Juwan Parker (Tulsa, Okla./Booker T. Washington) announced Sunday he has verbally committed to Georgia.
“This feels awesome right now,” Parker said. “I’ve been recruited by so many schools for such a long time. It feels good to have this done.”
Parker chose the Bulldogs over Memphis and Stanford and also had offers from Tulsa, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, among several others.
Fox first entered the Parker household when he was an assistant for Kansas State and was trying to recruit Juwan’s older brother, Jason, to become a Wildcat.
Jason Parker signed with Tulsa and became one of the most prolific scorers in school history. Fox wouldn’t mind if Juwan is able to do the same thing at Georgia.
Juwan Parker said he doesn’t remember much about Fox visiting his family. However, Fox remembered Juwan and kept tabs on him throughout his progress on the hardwood.
“That is what is so weird,” Parker said. “The first time we met again, I couldn’t remember anything about that visit. I was 4 or 5 years old. But Coach Fox remembered everything about how I was acting and stuff like that. It was cool. My family really likes him.”
That relationship with Fox made Parker reconsider things. Parker had originally crossed off the Bulldogs on his list of favorites. He said he had so many offers that he never thought he would get around to seeing all the schools he wanted to see.
But following his sophomore season, Parker reevaluated things and decided to give Georgia another shot.
Parker, who is 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, is a two-star prospect ranked No. 5 in Oklahoma and has been one of the top players in the state since his sophomore season.
Memphis recruited Parker hard during his junior season but things cooled down following the season. And a June visit to Athens all but ended his recruitment.
“Everything for me has boiled down to what situation will fit me best,” Parker said. “When I was on the campus, I couldn’t believe how comfortable I felt. I felt so at home that I knew I was making the right choice.”
Parker waited, though. He didn’t want to make a decision based off emotion. He said, in his heart, he knew Georgia was the right spot and started letting his family and friends know in the last week.
Parker helped lead Tulsa Booker T. Washington to back-to-back state championships as a freshman and sophomore. With his commitment out of the way, he is ready to get one more ring before heading to Georgia.
“Now I can focus and concentrate on what I need to do,” Parker said. “I don’t have to worry about coaches calling or about what coaches are at what games. I’m with Georgia, and I can make my senior season special.”
Parker is the second commit for the 2013 class. Two-star point guard J.J. Frazier (Ludowici, Ga./Faith Baptist Christian Academy) pledged to the Bulldogs in February.