Dai-Jon Parker, one of the nation’s premier two-sport athletes, has given up football in order to focus on basketball only during his senior year.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder starred at wide receiver and cornerback for Milton High this past season as a junior, and got 11 early football offers, including UGA, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Duke and Mississippi State.
However, Parker is also highly-regarded in hoops, holding basketball scholarship offers from UGA, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Auburn, Ohio State, Oregon, Purdue, Virginia Tech, and Oregon State, among others.
Parker plays shooting guard, posting 19 points and 6 rebounds in Milton’s win over Westlake for Class AAAAA state championship. After the basketball season, Parker briefly considered playing both sports as a senior. However, he opted not to report to Milton’s spring football practice, which ended on Friday.
“He was advised against [football], and sometimes you can’t win those battles. I still don’t think it’s the best decision. But, you know, he’s a great kid and a great basketball player. You can’t argue with that. Hopefully, everything will work out the way it’s supposed to go for him. Again, great kid, and we wish him the best.”
Milton basketball coach David Boyd said Parker informed him about giving up football earlier this month. “I didn’t really have much input on that at all. Dai-Jon just felt like that basketball was going to be an opportunity to play at a high Div. I level. And depending on where he ends up, it could be a really good situation for him.”
Parker has played in the shadows of two heralded teammates, Milton point guard Shannon Scott (committed to Ohio State) and power forward Julian Royal (undecided). However, some college coaches consider Parker the No. 1 recruiting target at the Fulton school.
“The thing that makes Dai-Jon so unique is that he’s a great athlete, great shooter, and great defender,” Boyd said. “Those are rare commodities in one player. You might have a great shooter, or a great athlete, or a great defender. But rarely do you have all three in one player.
“That’s what Dai-Jon brings to the table. He is an outstanding 3-point shooter, an explosive athlete, and maybe the best defender I’ve ever coached. He’s a ’shut down, lock down’ defender. He guarded all the other team’s best players during the season, and did a superb job.”
Parker will travel the country this summer, playing with two different AAU teams.