For the first time in the award’s thirty-two year history, the Illinois Mr. Basketball honor is going to a high school junior: Simeon Career Academy’s Jabari Parker. Rated as the #2 overall prospect in the 2013 class by Rivals, Parker has emerged as a national star and one of the most highly sought-after prospects in the nation. In what was somewhat of a down year in Illinois (in terms of nationally recognized high school players), Parker was dominate and helped lead his stacked Simeon team to an undefeated season and state title – their second straight.
Jabari becomes the fourth Mr. Basketball award winner from Simeon, and the first since current Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose won it in 2007. Becoming the first junior winner ever, Parker will surely be the favorite to win it next year and be the state’s first ever 2-time winner.
Parker is being recruited by just about every notable college program in the country and the upcoming AAU season will be a recruiting frenzy. There are a ton of star prospects in Illinois, with Parker and Jahlil Okafor (2014) leading the way.