It’s official: Jabari Parker is coming to Duke.
Parker, the No. 2 overall prospect in the class of 2013, committed to the Blue Devils on Dec. 20 during a special ESPNU broadcast of his decision. But he couldn’t sign until the spring, and he signed his binding letter of intent Wednesday at Chicago high school, Simeon Career Academy.
“We’re excited for Jabari and his family to join our family here at Duke,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We are confident he will have a great career, and we are glad to have him in our program.”
A 6-foot-8 forward, Parker led his school to an unprecedented four Illinois Class 4A championships and is the first player to earn the Mr. Basketball of Illinois award twice. He averaged 18.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists during his senior season and has participated in several all-star games, including the McDonald’s All-American Game, the Jordan Brand Classic and the Nike Hoop Summit. He was the co-MVP of the Classic, scoring 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting and posting seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block.
Parker completes Duke’s three-man 2013 class, joining DeSoto (Texas) shooting guard Matt Jones and Ottawa (Kan.) forward Semi Ojeleye.
Parker, who was named a second-team pre-offseason All-American this week by ESPN, will likely start at power forward next season. Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood will take the other forward spot, and Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon will occupy the backcourt. And if the season started tomorrow, Amile Jefferson would play the center position. The Blue Devils will have an abundance of depth with the returning reserves and new additions.
With Parker and Hood, especially, Duke should have its most athletic team in recent years. A picture posted by the official men’s basketball account revealed that Parker will wear No. 1. Kyrie Irving is the only other player to wear that jersey for the team.
Keeley 919-829-4556; Twitter @laurakeeley