Gatorade® National Boys Basketball Player of the Year: Jabari Parker
CHICAGO, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced Jabari Parker of Simeon Career Academy (Chicago, Ill.) as its 2011-12 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Parker was surprised with the news in his Spanish class by former NBA Champion Alonzo Mourning, who earned Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors in 1987-88.
“When I received the award in 1988, it was such a pivotal moment for me as an athlete. I’m grateful to be a part of this moment for Jabari, who is truly a phenomenal student-athlete on and off the court,” said Mourning, a Gold Medalist, seven-time NBA All-Star, and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year. “Gatorade has been on the sidelines fueling athletic performance for years, so to be recognized by a brand that understands the game and truly helps athletes perform is a huge honor for these kids.”
As the recipient of the 240th Gatorade National Player of the Year trophy to be awarded since 1985, Parker becomes the first student-athlete from the state of Illinois to earn Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Parker as the nation’s best high school boys basketball player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Parker from more than 545,000 boys basketball players nationwide. Parker is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound junior wing led the Wolverines to a 33-1 record and a third consecutive Class 4A state championship this past season. Parker averaged 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 3.4 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. The Player of the Year as named by ESPNChicago.com and the Chicago Sun-Times, Parker shot 55 percent from the field, 39 percent from 3-point range and 72 percent from the free throw line. Also the ESPNHS National Player of the Year for the Class of 2013 each of the past two seasons, he averaged 15.4 points and 6.4 rebounds for USA Basketball’s U16 National Team during an unbeaten, five-game run to the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship this past summer, capturing tournament Most Valuable Player honors and earning USA Basketball’s prestigious 2011 Male Athlete of the Year award.
Parker has maintained a 3.63 weighted GPA in the classroom, ranks 18th in his class of 377 students and serves as the principal-appointed President of Student Representatives with the Local School Council. In addition to donating his time as a youth basketball instructor, he has volunteered locally with Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity), the Salvation Army and the New Beginnings Church. He is also a seminary bible study student as well as a senior citizen youth ambassador in association with the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints Hyde Park Ward.
“Jabari is a once-in-a-lifetime player and person,” said Paul Biancardi, National Director, ESPN Basketball Recruiting. “As a person, he is incredible, humble and hard-working, regardless of his accolades. On the court, he influences the game with his unique ability to be both a scorer and a facilitator. The versatility allows him to score in the paint and on the perimeter. He possesses outstanding size, combined with an accurate shooting touch from deep, and has added a mid-range game that makes him hard to defend. His ball-handling and passing are exceptional, as he seldom gets rattled. His overall basketball IQ and instincts to play the game at a high level at such a young age make him very special with a very bright future.”
Parker will begin his senior year of high school this fall.
“Without question, Jabari is deserving of recognition as the nation’s best high school boys basketball player based on his statistics on the court and the impact his accomplishments have had on Simeon’s success,” said Gatorade President North America and Global Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Robb O’Hagan. “But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPNHS and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year web site at http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.
ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR YEAR NAME HIGH SCHOOL STATUS 2011-12 Jabari Parker Simeon Career Academy/Chicago, IL HS Junior 2010-11 Bradley Beal Chaminade College Preparatory/St. Louis, MO University of Florida 2009-10 Brandon Knight Pine Crest School/Fort Lauderdale, FL Detroit Pistons 2008-09 Brandon Knight Pine Crest School/Fort Lauderdale, FL Detroit Pistons 2007-08 Jrue Holiday Campbell Hall/North Hollywood, CA Philadelphia 76ers 2006-07 Kevin Love Lake Oswego/Lake Oswego, OR Minnesota Timberwolves 2005-06 Greg Oden Lawrence North/Indianapolis, IN NBA Free Agent 2004-05 Greg Oden Lawrence North/Indianapolis, IN NBA Free Agent 2003-04 Dwight Howard SW Atlanta Christian Academy/Atlanta, GA Orlando Magic 2002-03 LeBron James St. Vincent-St. Mary/Akron, OH Miami Heat 2001-02 LeBron James St. Vincent-St. Mary/Akron, OH Miami Heat 2000-01 Kelvin Torbert Northwestern Edison/Flint, MI Dexia Mons-Hainaut (Belgium) 1999-00 Jared Jeffries North/Bloomington, IN New York Knicks 1998-99 LaVell Blanchard Pioneer/Ann Arbor, MI Torpan Pojat 1997-98 Al Harrington St. Patrick/Elizabeth, NJ Denver Nuggets 1996-97 Baron Davis Crossroads/Santa Monica, CA New York Knicks 1995-96 Kobe Bryant Lower Merion/Ardmore, PA Los Angeles Lakers 1994-95 Stephon Marbury Abraham Lincoln/Brooklyn, NY Beijing Ducks 1993-94 Felipe Lopez Rice/New York, NY Retired from NBA 1992-93 Randy Livingston Isidore Newman School/New Orleans, LA Retired from NBA 1991-92 Corliss Williamson Russellville/Russellville, AR Central Arkansas Coach 1990-91 Chris Webber Detroit County Day/Birmingham, MI Retired from NBA 1989-90 Damon Bailey Bedford North Lawrence/Bedford, IN Retired from NBA 1988-89 Kenny Anderson Archbishop Molloy/Jamaica, NY Retired from NBA 1987-88 Alonzo Mourning Indian River/Chesapeake, VA Retired from NBA 1986-87 LaBradford Smith Bay City/Bay City, TX Retired from NBA 1985-86 J.R. Reid Kempsville/Virginia Beach, VA Retired from NBA