ANDREW SELIGMAN,AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — Prep star Jabari Parker might wait until the spring to sign his letter of intent, although he probably would commit to a school before making it official.
Sonny Parker said Thursday his son isn’t ruling out signing during the early period next month, but he might need more time. In that case, he said Jabari likely would commit in December and sign in the spring.
Jabari Parker, who plays for Chicago’s Simeon Career Academy, is scheduled to make five official visits, starting this weekend with Michigan State. Trips to Duke (Oct. 26-28), Florida (Nov. 2-4), Stanford (Nov. 9-11) and Brigham Young later in November are also on tap.
“We really don’t know for sure, for sure,” Sonny Parker said. “He has five visits. He might go on his first two visits and say, ‘Hey, this is where I want to go.’ You never know. I know all his visits are going to go past the (early) signing period. His last visit, probably BYU, is going to be the end of November.”
If Jabari Parker doesn’t sign during the early period from Nov. 14-21, he would have to wait until the spring. The regular period runs from April 17 to May 15.
“He’ll probably commit if he can’t sign on those days (in November),” Sonny Parker said. “That’s what I’m hearing from him. And he’ll sign in the spring.”
Jabari Parker will be accompanied by his parents this weekend. Sonny says he’ll try to make all the trips and his wife, Lola, will be on each visit.
A 6-foot-8 forward, Jabari Parker is one of the most prized recruits to come along in recent years. He received the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year award after leading Simeon to its third straight state championship while averaging 19.5 points and 8.9 rebounds as a junior.
He comes from the same high school that Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose attended, and his father played six seasons with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA after starring at Chicago’s Farragut Career Academy.
Religion also plays a big role in Jabari’s life. He is a devout Mormon, just like his mom, and a mission remains a possibility.
A new rule recently went into effect that lowers the age when members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can go on a mission from 19 to 18, possibly adding another wrinkle to this recruiting process.
“It’s a possibility, that option,” Sonny said. “His brother went on a mission. I’m sure that’s still an option, but he hasn’t made any type of decision or commitment one way or another. Right now, he’s trying to get healthy and deal with this college recruiting and decision making. He’s just trying to deal with that now.”
Jabari Parker is recovering from a broken right foot and is still using crutches and a protective boot. Sonny Parker said his son is scheduled for an MRI in about three weeks, and his timetable for getting back on the court is up in the air.
“They really don’t know,” Sonny said. “They’re talking about in six weeks, but he’s still got to go through some rehabilitation, some therapy. That’s going to take some time.”
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