Quantcast

Jabari's final night at Cameron Indoor? Parker stars as Duke downs rival North Carolina

Published: Wednesday, July 8 2015 1:44 a.m. MDT

Duke's Jabari Parker reacts following a basket against North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 8, 2014. (Gerry Broome, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Duke's Jabari Parker reacts following a basket against North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 8, 2014. (Gerry Broome, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Much of the speculation surrounding Duke freshman Jabari Parker right now circulates around the possibility he may jump to the NBA after this season.

On Saturday night, however, Parker took the spotlight off the speculation and turned it toward his game. In what may have been his final game at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium, he made a lasting impression, scoring a season-high 30 points and grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds in a 93-81 win over rival North Carolina.

"My focus right now is on my team and on winning," Parker told Sports Illustrated's Jeff Benedict following the win. "We have unfinished business in front of us."

With a packed house that included sports celebrities like NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, Parker, who is LDS, earned praise from Tar Heels coach Roy Williams for his play. According to Benedict, Williams said the freshman played like a man "possessed" and put on a "fantastic exhibition."

Duke's Jabari Parker (1) reacts following a basket against North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 8, 2014. (Gerry Broome, AP) Duke's Jabari Parker (1) reacts following a basket against North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 8, 2014. (Gerry Broome, AP)

Parker's night wasn't done. Benedict reported that following the game, the basketball star went to a hotel in Durham, N.C., where he paid a visit to a 14-year-old boy on his birthday.

"This is the best birthday ever," the boy said, according to Benedict.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company