DALLAS -- The wait is nearly over.
No. 2 overall prospect Jabari Parker will officially end his college recruitment and announce his decision on Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. CT. He will choose between Duke, Michigan State, BYU, Florida and Stanford.
You can see in his face that Parker has had enough of the recruiting process. There comes a time in every player’s recruitment when feeling consumed and frustrated replaces the initial happiness and excitement. Parker has had enough and is ready to put this stage of his career in the rearview mirror in order to move ahead with his future – which he hopes includes a fourth consecutive state championship.
I caught up with the Chicago Simeon senior forward in Dallas today, a night before he leads the top-ranked Wolverines in a nationally televised contest against DeSoto (Texas) Thursday night on ESPN and WatchESPN at 9:30 p.m. ET, to get some final thoughts before his announcement.
Biancardi: Why are you now ready to make your college decision?
Parker: It’s about time for me. I just want to get through the season, focus on the team and the guys on the team. I want to gel with my teammates and get ready for the state championships. I 've made all my visits and I am ready.
Biancardi: What were some of the most important factors in making your college decision?
Parker: A good relationship with the head coach, the assistants and, of course, the players. If a team gets along well, the team will succeed. The team’s chemistry and cohesiveness is important to me. The long-term investment to and from the university is also important to me.
Biancardi: You have been going through the recruiting process since you were a freshman. What did you enjoy most about it?
Parker: You get to talk to college coaches you see on TV everyday. You dream about playing for those coaches. It’s been a pleasure to get to know all of them. Now that part is all dying down, and I get to pick a school and give myself to that program.
Biancardi: What did you least enjoy about your recruiting process?
Parker: Probably the phone calls. I don't like to talk on the phone much; I really don't have my phone with me that much. Text messages are also a burden to respond to. But at the same time, I don't want the coaches to think I don't care. I do care but I don't get [around to answering] it like I should. I’m glad that part of it will be over.
Biancardi: For the school that lands your commitment, what can that program expect from you as a person, a student and a basketball player?
Parker: I think they’ll get someone who is friendly to everyone on campus and a basketball player who will work hard and stay hungry. They’ll get an overall player who can play different positions on the floor. I like to call myself a basketball player instead of locking into one position. And finally, they’ll get a student who cares about his academics. I want to be a good student.