Utah Jazz's one-and-dones offer free advice to Jabari Parker
SALT LAKE CITY — Jabari Parker hasn't asked Derrick Favors or Marvin Williams where he should attend college.
Both Utah Jazz players have experience with the situation Parker is in — having been one-and-done college guys themselves — but they aren't about to tell the Chicago high school player where he should go next year, either.
Georgia Tech and North Carolina, their respective colleges, aren't on Parker's final five list, so ESPN's No. 2 college recruit might not give much credence to their preferred choices anyway.
That's good news for BYU, Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford, who remain in the running to be chosen by the talented 6-foot-8 forward.
That decision will be announced by Parker at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
The coveted player's father, former NBA athlete Sonny Parker, told USA Today that Duke and Michigan State are likely the finalists. But the Simeon High senior told the Chicago Tribune he hasn't quite decided.
"I still have doubts, so I'm not fully there. But I'll have it by that day," Parker said last week. "It's just a commitment. It's not like I'm signing. It still gives me room to make plans in case anything goes otherwise."
If Parker were to ask the Jazz players — who were both picked in the top three after their single seasons of college ball — they have several pieces of advice they'd offer to the teenage talent.
"When you go to college, you've got to pick the right school and the right situation," said the 21-year-old Favors, who was in this spot four years ago. "Sometimes you can go in and be in the wrong situation and that can mess up your stock and your draft. You've got to really do your homework on schools and the coaches."
And that's just the beginning.
"Just work hard while you're there," Favors said, continuing to dish out free advice. "Don't buy into the NBA draft stuff. Don't buy into that (hype) that can mess you up."
Favors grew up in Atlanta, and that played a major role in why he chose to attend Georgia Tech for his freshman campaign. He was then selected third overall in the 2010 draft by the Nets before being traded to Utah as part of the Deron Williams deal in February 2011.
"My whole thing (was) I just wanted to stay close to home so my family and friends could get to see me play," Favors said. "If I would've went out of state, they wouldn't have got a chance to see me play that much."
Williams would caution anyone in Parker's situation to take his time — in making the college choice and even in coming out of school to go pro.
"For any kid, obviously it's a big decision," Williams said. "Just go to college and enjoy it, and if you really like it, stay another year, stay another two years. If you feel like you're ready to move on, then move on."
Williams has heard of Parker and knew that he was the No. 2 recruit, but Favors wasn't familiar with the highly publicized prep player because, "I don't pay attention to high school." No offense intended, of course.
In fact, the Jazz power forward was caught off guard when told that Parker was considering playing for BYU, which hasn't exactly been a pipeline to the NBA in recent years (aside from Jimmer, of course).
It made much more sense to Favors when it was explained to him that Parker is an LDS athlete. That also plays into Favors' opinion that every case is different and requires unique factors to be carefully considered.
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