Simeon's Jabari Parker Gets Sports Illustrated Cover - NBC Chicago

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Simeon's Jabari Parker Gets Sports Illustrated Cover

SI calls Parker the best high school player since LeBron James.



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    Could Jabari Parker be the best basketball player ever from the City of Chicago?

    Simeon Career Academy on Chicago's South Side has a stellar reputation for producing the best basketball players not only in the city but in the country as well.

    Ben Wilson is the first name out of everyone's mouth when it comes to Simeon basketball, but Bulls All-Star Derrick Rose brought the school back to prominence and Jabari Parker has successfully carried on the tradition, keeping the school in the national spotlight while making Chicago a hotbed for college recruiters.

    As far as legacies go, Jabari's could eclipse both Benji and Derrick's when it comes to basketball in this city.

    For starters, the McDonald's All-American game will return to the United Center for a third consecutive time next spring and it's no question that Jabari Parker is a big reason why. His national ranking as the No. 1 player in high school basketball, regardless of class, certainly played a part in that decision.

    Secondly, Parker has led the Wolverines to three consecutive state championships going back to his freshman year. Derrick Rose won back-to-back state titles as a junior and senior and wasn't allowed to play varsity ball as a freshman

    Should Parker win a fourth state championship, he will have accomplished a feat no other Public League player has ever done before and could cement him as the greatest high school player this city has ever produced.

    That's high praise considering the number of great basketball players Chicago has put out over the years, but if you've seen Jabari play, you know that kind of talk isn't without merit.

    So making the cover of the May issue of Sports Illustrated and being called the best high school basketball player since LeBron James certainly helps add to his lore (Derrick Rose didn't make his first SI cover until last April). 

    Jabari now joins Farragut Academy graduate and current Boston Celtics power forward, Kevin Garnett, the aforementioned James and current Phoenix Suns point guard Sebastian Telfair as being the only prep basketball players to grace the cover of SI before they crossed the stage at their high school graduations.