Jabari Parker came to the Duke Blue Devils as one of the top two recruits in the country, if not the top overall recruit, last season and immediately elicited comparisons to Grant Hill and Carmelo Anthony with his style of play and impact on the team, school and fan base.
Despite only staying at Duke for one season, Parker grew attached to the school and developed emotions as if he were there for all four years like Hill, and today posted a heartfelt goodbye on his Instagram page to the fans who supported from the moment he committed to the Blue Devils until the moment he declared for the 2014 NBA draft.
“Finally found the time to get to it so I’ll start here. Last summer I spent countless nights walking across this floor, looking at the banners of the players/coaches responsible for this great program. Then I look off over into the stands, home to some of the best fans. Lastly, I walk over to our team’s bench, dreaming of the moment when they call out “A 6’8 freshman from Chicago, IL.” When that moment came it blessed my life. To live your dream, being apart of a family that stands up for each other, representing a program that’s more than any single person.
The DUKE basketball program takes a team to be successful on a daily basis. I knew from H.S. that I wanted to be apart of a program that was going to need every single person. Duke didn’t need JP, JP needed Duke. After the season, I go sit in the highest seats in the building aka “the nest”. There I remember all the good moments I had playing on coach K court. As soon as I’m done with that, I walk out into the hallway looking at the players before me, hoping that I could be one of those guys too.
To end, I want to thank everyone who embraced me into the Duke family. Especially the fans, I appreciate you for sticking up for a university that hold about 11,000 students (if that). I’m no #AntiUNC, but I’m #ProDuke. To everyone out in Carolina, thank you for the best hospitality in the world. I never met so many nice people before. I will miss you Cameron indoor, Cameron Crazies, the team, the coaches, but most of all, those little people who contribute to Duke in the biggest ways.”
A very nice touch of class from Parker who is expected to be among the first three players selected in the 2014 NBA draft along with Andrew Wiggins, who shared the distinction of being the top recruit in the nation last year, and Joel Embiid.