Dick Harmon: Trying to woo high school basketball sensation Jabari Parker, BYU fans get creative

Published: Saturday, Nov. 24 2012 11:20 p.m. MST

"We did our best. Other than getting a beautiful day and a lot of work, I guess we made the police beat blotter," said Henry. It took 10 hours of his Saturday not to mention days of preparation and organizing efforts.

"Hopefully Jabari saw some of this," he said.

Parker had a front-row seat with his mother, brother Chris and cousin Harvey Unga, BYU's all-time leading rusher. Nearby were BYU commits Nick Emery, T.J. Haws and Eric Mika from Lone Peak High and Orem High's Dalton Nixon.

BYU's fans got into this game, but it took a late rally and 32 points by Tyler Haws to secure victory. If the truth be known, all plans aside, the Marriott Center could have used some of the organized craziness and passion you see from students in the Spectrum at Utah State.

Marriott Center Parker signs included: "Come to Zion," something that announced there were 15,994 Mormon Girls at BYU vs. 15 at Duke, "BYU (heart) Jabari," and "Be our Legend."

The shirt gimmick made ESPN.com and may have been the best BYU fan effort.

William Sell, a 19-year-old student from Pennsylvania, said he read about the shirts on ESPN and decided he'd partake. "I really hope Jabari makes the correct decision. I'm really excited and hope BYU puts on a good show.' "

Kent Belcher, 71, of Springville, and his wife Jann knew nothing of the shirt plan until they got to the arena. "It was a nice surprise," said Jenn.

"I hope Jabari liked his visit and knows he's welcome here. We'd love to have him and these shirts show what we want to happen," said Kent.

Will it work?

"Yes," said Belcher. "You have to stay positive."

Email: dharmon@desnews.com

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