KF’s Parker selects, signs with Cincinnati
Published 12:14 pm Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Since winning the state championship and being the state’s Player of the Year, it’s been just as eventful for King’s Fork’s Jaquon Parker in the couple of months since the basketball season came to a close.
On Tuesday, Parker signed a National Letter of Intent to attend and play basketball for the University of Cincinnati.
In mid-April, Parker committed to Old Dominion University, but withdrew his commitment two weeks later.
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“I felt I kind of committed to ODU too fast. I didn’t take the time to look at what would work out best for me,” said Parker on Wednesday.
Cincinnati was among a host of Big East and other major conference schools which were recruiting Parker. One major difference between Cincinnati and Old Dominion is the opportunity for Parker to play for the Bearcats in the 2009-10 season instead of spending part of the 2009-10 school year at a prep school.
“Being able to play next year, that really sold my decision,” said Parker.
Parker will be able to take two summer classes and start at Cincinnati when UC’s fall semester begins in mid-September.
On an unofficial visit to Cincinnati, Parker said he scrimmaged with the Bearcat players and got along well with them and the UC coaches.
Mick Cronin is entering his fourth season as UC’s head coach. The Bearcats were 18-14 last season.
“Jaquon is a huge get for us this spring,” said Cronin in a release on the university’s Web site. “He is a fierce competitor and a big-time winner. Associate head coach Larry Davis did an unbelievable job recruiting him.
“Bearcats basketball fans are really going to love watching this young man play. I love his ability to attack the basket off the dribble, which is something we need to do a better job of as a team. Jaquon also has the mindset of a defensive stopper, which we all know is invaluable to a team,” said Cronin.
Parker, a 6-foot-4 guard/forward who was the VHSCA (Virginia High School Coaches Association) and Associated Press Group AAA Player of the Year, averaged 18.5 points, 10 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game as King’s Fork went 31-1 this season.
Parker said the level of competition between the Big East and Colonial conferences made no difference in his decision, saying, “I’ve never felt that way, because I feel I can play in any conference. The coach I have the best relationship with, and the players I feel I bond with the best, that’s how I was making the decision.”
At the same time, “the big stage and sometimes being on ESPN, it’s kind of exciting,” said Parker.
“Everybody, my mom, my coaches, my uncle, everyone’s really been a big help. They’ve motivated me to do what I had to do,” said Parker.
“I just thank them, because without them it wouldn’t be possible for me to be where I am right now.”