Two days after leading Simeon to its fourth consecutive IHSA Class 4A State Basketball Championship, Duke-bound Jabari Parker has won the Morgan Wootten Male Player of the Year award. Jabari was named one of six finalists for the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year award last week just before tip off against New Trier. The award honors the nation's top prep basketball player and takes into consideration character, leadership, academic achievement, and service to the community. Notable previous winners include Kevin Love (2007), Dwight Howard (2004), LeBron James (2003). Recently the award has been won by Harrison Barnes (2010) and Shabazz Muhammad (2012).
In 2012, Parker became the first non-senior in Illinois history to earn Mr. Basketball honors. According to the Wootten Award press release,
Outside of basketball, Parker is an honor roll student and National Honors Society member. Parker is also an active volunteer with the Chicago Park District and at church functions. “Being named the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year is very special to me and shows how much hard work, discipline and perseverance can help make dreams come true,” said Parker. “Not only is this honor a reflection of myself, it is a tribute to the people that helped me in my development.”
Parker, a 6-foot-9 small forward, was among six finalists for the award. The other finalists included Archbishop Mitty power forward Aaron Gordon (uncommitted), William B. Travis guards Aaron Harrison (Kentucky) and Andrew Harrison (Kentucky), Montverde Academy center Dakari Johnson (Kentucky) and Huntington Prep forward Andrew Wiggins (uncommitted). All six players are ranked among the top-11 players in ESPN's Class of 2013 rankings.
Parker committed to Duke over BYU, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford on Dec. 20.
As a junior, Parker was named the Team USA basketball 2011 Male Athlete of the Year, the Gatorade national player of the year and Illinois' Mr. Basketball.
Parker will be presented with the Wootten Award on April 2 during the McDonald's All-American Game festivities. Parker will play in the April 3 McDonald's All-American Game a the United Center in Chicago. The game will be televised on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. CT.
Jabari Parker has once again made his hometown proud. I look forward to watching him continue his basketball career under the watchful eye of fellow Chicago-native Mike Krzyzewski next year at Duke University. Paker becomes the 6th Duke signee to win the award following Austin Rivers (2011), Josh McRoberts (2005), a pair of ex-Bulls Chris Duhon (2000) and Jason Williams (1999), as well as the award's first recipient Shane Battier (1997).