Former Simeon High School standout, Jabari Parker, returns to his city in sensational form as he kicks off his first season for the Chicago Bulls.
Before his triumphant return, Parker had to pave his own way. In a recent feature for Michigan Avenue Magazine, the standout power forward talked about sneaking off to the local church basketball hoop to play against his brother throughout the midnight hour and dreaming about wearing a Bulls jersey with his name on it through the night. Parker recalled, “The Bulls were everything. Everybody had big dreams, and everyone fantasized about playing at the United Center.” Through his hard work, consistent focus, and natural affinity for the sport, Parker made waves throughout his hometown. He quickly got to work, becoming the first freshman to start for the storied Wolverines of Simeon Career Academy. In route to winning four straight state championships, the gifted athlete racked up national honors, including Gatorade Player of the Year and USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the Year before heading south to play for Coach K at Duke. In true one and done form, Parker placed his bid for the NBA after his first collegiate season. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2014 and stayed there for four years before returning home as a Chicago Bull at the beginning of the 2018 Season.
Coming from a land of the disenfranchised and a boiling pot that consists of a lack of opportunity, resources, and support for young kids and athletes, Parker never intended on staying in his hometown for long once a bigger opportunity would come. Embattled by the dangers of the Windy City, it seemed like he would never return after he went off to college. It all changed when he made it to the NBA. He talked about the select few that would make it to the big leagues and wouldn’t shine a light on the watchful youth that were left behind. He takes great responsibility in wearing the Bulls jersey and sees it as a chance to inspire tomorrow’s professionals and let them know that their dreams shouldn’t be predicated on their reality. Once just a kid from the South Side, Parker has the opportunity to live out his dream of leading his hometown team back to the promise land.
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