Jabari Parker’s triumphal procession can be traced back to his high school days when he helped his school win four consecutive championship titles in the state of Illinois. The talented player also completed an illustrious one-year college basketball program at Duke University before turning pro in 2014. Parker was named runner-up overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2014 NBA Draft, and after a 4-year stint on the team, he joined the Chicago Bulls in 2018. In the time he has played basketball both as an amateur and professional, one thing is certain: Jabari Parker is not your average basketball player.
Jabari Parker’s Bio
Jabari Parker was born on March 15, 1995, in the South Shore area of Chicago, Illinois. He is of African American and Tongan descent. His parents are Folola Finau-Parker (mother) and Sonny Parker (father), and he grew up with 6 siblings. He received his early education at Robert A. Black Magnet Elementary and attended the Simeon Career Academy for high school.
Parker has been an outstanding player from the beginning of his high school career. He made history as the first freshman ever to play on the Simeon University team. While helping the school win the IHSA Class 4A State Championship, he scored an amazing 19.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game in his first year of high school. His outstanding achievements earned him the ESPN HS Freshman of the Year 2010 award as well as numerous college scholarship offers.
The talented young man maintained his top form throughout his time in high school. In his sophomore year, he won the ESPN HS Sophomore of the Year, while his team won the IHSA State Championship Class 4A for the second year in a row. As a junior, he won the 2012 Illinois Boys’ Gatorade Player of the Year award in basketball, the 2012 Illinois Mr. Basketball, and the 2012 ESPN HS National Junior of the Year award. On April 12, 2012, he was named 2012 Gatorade National Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year, making him the 4th junior to accomplish this feat after LeBron James, Greg Oden, and Brandon Knight.
As the crowning achievement of his successful high school career, Jabari Parker led his school to a state championship for the fourth year in a row, and just like his junior year, he won the 2012 Illinois Mr. Basketball 2012 and the Gatorade Illinois Boys Basketball Player of the Year award. He was equally represented at the Jordan Brand Classic and the McDonald’s All-American Game.
Jabari Parker graduated from high school in fourth place in the 2013 class and chose Duke University for his college career from the many scholarship opportunities available. It was predictable that he would have an incredible year of college basketball with the Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball team. He was named ACC rookie of the week ten times for setting a record ten times and eventually received the ACC Freshman of the Year award. He has also been nominated for All-ACC’s First Team, All-ACC Freshman Team, All-ACC Tournament Team, All-American Freshman All-American 2013, All-American NCAA Men’s Basketball All-American 2014, and several other awards.
After his freshman year, Parker signed up for the 2014 NBA Draft, where he was nominated by the Milwaukee Bucks for 2nd place.
Jabari Parker began his NBA career with the Milwaukee Bucks at a high level, but unfortunately, his run for Rookie of the Year was interrupted when he was injured at the end of the season on December 15, 2014. He only played 25 games with an average of 12.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and a career-high of 1.2 steals per game. Although the injury lasted into the 2015-16 NBA season, Parker came back into action in the fifth game of the season. He was in 76 games throughout the season, averaging 14.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
Parker continued his impressive form in the 2016-17 season, but this was interrupted in February 2017 when he injured himself again at the end of the season. After playing 51 games, he ended the season with a career-high of 20.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. He remained on the sidelines throughout the year and made his first appearance in the 2017-18 season on February 2, 2018. However, his playing time shrank to an all-time low as he only made 3 starts in a total of 31 appearances with the Bucks, in which he averaged 12.6 points and 4.9 assists per game.
At the end of the 2017-18 season, Jabari Parker became a free player, and on July 14, 2018, he transferred to the Chicago Bulls with a two-year contract worth $40 million.
Since turning pro in 2014, Parker’s NBA career has been doomed to failure due to a series of injury problems. The first major injury in his career was a torn cruciate ligament in his left knee, which he sustained in December 2014. In February 2017, he suffered another torn cruciate ligament in the same knee, which excluded him for an entire calendar year, as he had done the first time. Parker’s NBA career, which is still on the fair side of his 20s, is very promising, but this depends heavily on his ability to stay healthy.
Other Interesting Facts About Jabari Parker
Jabari Parker’s father, Sonny Parker, is a retired professional basketball player. Like his talented son, he was a first-round contender in the 1976 NBA Draft where he was selected by the Golden State Warriors. He spent the entire 6 years of his professional career with the Warriors and finally retired in September 1982.
Jabari Parker’s unusual basketball talents were first discovered during an amateur tournament organized by the Sonny Parker Youth Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by his father in 1990.
Parker is a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During his school years, he went through the Church’s seminary program and became an LDS priest at the age of 16.