Boys Basketball: Class 3A/4A All-State teams loaded with talentJabari Parker of Simeon lays in a shot high over Evanston's Jordan Perrin. Patrick Gleason ~ For the Sun-Times
Updated: March 14, 2012 10:10PM
Simeon phenom Jabari Parker is in the midst of another state championship run, but as the season comes to a close another drama will reach its defining moments over the spring and summer: the recruitment.
Parker is the most sought-after prospect in the country and the media attention surrounding him will equal if not surpass the spotlight felt by Jon Scheyer, Derrick Rose and Anthony Davis.
The junior confirmed his timeline to the Sun-Times last week.
“I’ll narrow it down in the summer and take visits,” Parker said. “Probably in the fall I’ll make my decision but won’t sign.”
Parker’s decision not to sign early is probably a wise one. He won’t be tied to a college if there is a coaching change or any other difficult situations crop up.
Parker’s family has been through the recruiting game before, so they are likely to handle the situation a bit more smoothly than the average family of a high school recruit. Parker averaged 26 points and nine rebounds this season while leading the Wolverines to the city championship and the Pontiac Holiday Tournament title. He’s chasing his third consecutive state championship this weekend in Peoria.
Parker is joined on the Class 4A All-State first team by another player who will be focus of high-level recruiting battles this summer, Young sophomore Jahlil Okafor. The 6-10 center is the area’s most refined post player since Thornwood’s Eddy Curry.
Proviso East point guard Keith Carter, a Saint Louis recruit; Warren’s Darius Paul; and Rockford Auburn’s Fred Van Vleet, a Wichita State recruit, round out the first team. Carter (17 points, five assists) and Van Vleet (20.4 points, 7.3 assists, 4.1 steals) will match up Friday in the state semifinals.
North Chicago guard Aaron Simpson, an Illinois State recruit averaging 26.2 points a game, leads the Class 3A first team. Simpson has propelled the Warhawks to Peoria for the second consecutive year. He dominated the supersectional game against Marshall and Milton Doyle, another first-teamer. Simpson scored 32 points and reached the free-throw line on seven consecutive possessions during the final three minutes of a close game.
“That’s just Simpson,” North Chicago coach Gerald Coleman said. “I have total confidence in him, he has that ability to control a game.”
Doyle was the suprise of the season. After missing all of last year with an injury he averaged 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game. He’s signed with Florida International.
Farragut center Rashaun Stimage, the state’s top uncommitted senior, averaged 20 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. He was the most versatile big man in the state, able to influence games with shot-blocking, post play and three-point shooting.
Peoria Central junior Trey Kellum (16 points, nine rebounds) and Springfield Lanphier’s Everett Clemons (18.8 points) round out the first team. Both will be playing in state semifinal games Friday in Peoria.