Georgia Tech and UGA haven’t given up on basketball star Tony Parker, who doesn’t have an official visit planned to either local school.
Both UGA coach Mark Fox and Georgia Tech assistant Chad Dollar showed up at Miller Grove High School this week to check on the 6-foot-9, 270-pound power forward who is ranked among the nation’s top 25 overall college basketball prospects.
Parker’s original top five was Duke, Ohio State, UCLA, Memphis and Georgetown but now it appears to be a three-horse race for his services.
After making an official visit to Ohio State last week, Parker rated it a “10” and is scheduled to welcome Buckeyes coach Thad Matta on Wednesday to the DeKalb County school. Parker said he has also set up recruiting trips to UCLA on Sept. 30 and Duke for Oct. 28. Memphis and Georgetown apparently have been eliminated.
“I think it’s smart that Georgia Tech and Georgia are still recruiting Tony,” Miller Grove basketball coach Sharman White told the AJC. “I wouldn’t give up. He’s a hometown guy. When you look at it, Georgia Tech and Georgia aren’t losing that much in time or money by checking on Tony. It’s not like they have to fly out to California to see him. He’s in their backyard. I think it’s smart for them to keep recruiting Tony because you never know how things turn out.”
Parker told the AJC he is considering taking an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech and/or UGA. His next scheduled recruiting trip will be in a couple of weeks to UCLA, which hired his longtime AAU coach from the Atlanta Celtics, Korey McCray, as an assistant in June. Parker’s close friend and teammate on the Atlantic Celtics, shooting guard Jordan Adams, has already committed to the Bruins.
Then there’s Duke next month. “I want to go visit Duke the same time as Alex Poythress” said Parker, referring to fellow top 25 national prospect from Clarksville, Tenn. The 6-foot-7 Poythress plays for Parker’s rival AAU team, the Georgia Stars.
Ohio State appears to be the frontrunner for Parker after last weekend’s visit. “I’d give that trip a 10,” Parker said. “I had a great time, and that school is at the top of my list. Well, it’s high on my list.”
“[Matta] is a great guy. I’m really digging the campus. They have a family-like atmosphere with the players and coaches that I love. I’m just all-around loving the school.”
Ohio State has another big factor working in its favor with Parker – NBA All-Star LeBron James. Parker and James became fast friends at a summer camp, and James has said he would’ve played at Ohio State if had not gone directly to the NBA.
“LeBron will be there [at Ohio State] next week for training,” Parker said. “I know he’s a big Ohio State fan. He watches their basketball and football games.” What advice has LeBron give Parker about Ohio State, or the recruiting process in general? “None, really. He doesn’t talk with me about that stuff.”
Back to UGA: Parker’s teammate at three-time state champion Miller Grove, small forward Brandon Morris, committed to UGA on Monday. Morris said he would love to see Parker join him with the Bulldogs. (read more)
“I mean, that would be great but Tony is going to make his own decision,” Morris said. “It’s not going to be me talking him into anything. He is his own guy, and he’s going to pick the best situation for him.”
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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