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Simeon senior Jabari Parker joined some elite company Thursday, becoming the fourth Simeon player to be named to the McDonald’s All-American team.
Parker joins Nick Anderson (1986), Deon Thomas (1989), Derrick Rose (2007). He’s the 61st player from Illinois to make the team and the 19th from the Chicago Public League.
‘‘It's a great honor to selected to play in such a prestigious game,” Parker said. ‘‘It’s one of the goals that I set for myself coming in to high school — to be a good enough player to be selected to the team.
“I want thank my coaches for helping me achieve this goal and pushing me to become the best player that I could be. “Without them I don’t know where I would be.”
Said Simeon coach Robert Smith: “It just lets you know where the Simeon program stands in the country. I’ve been fortunate to coach two of them and [former Simeon coach Bob Hambric] had two. A lot of guys don’t have the opportunity to coach an All-American.”
Parker’s elementary school teammate at Black, Young’s Linnae Harper, was named to the girls team. Harper played on the boys basketball team at Black.
The game is April 3 at the United Center.
“It’s definitely special that Jabari’s last high school game ever will be in Chicago,” Smith said. “That’s going to be huge for all the fans, his teammates, his family, his elementary school teammates and great for the city of Chicago as well.”
Mount Carmel coach Mike Flaherty will coach the West Team, along with assistants Jasper Williams, the Bloom head coach and Brian Flaherty, the Bremen coach.
“This award reminds me that I am one step closer to the end of my high school career, but I still have work to do to help Simeon win another state championship,” Parker said. “That will be the icing on top”