Tony Parker’s coach denied a report that the AJC’s Mr. Georgia basketball has decided to sign with UCLA.
“That’s something that got started at [an all-star game] … it doesn’t have any legs to it,” Miller Grove High School coach Sharman White told the AJC on Sunday.
“Tony has not committed yet. That’s the best and only way I can put it.”
However, there are a couple of new developments with Parker: He will make his highly-anticipated college decision on Friday, and his finalists are UCLA, Duke, UGA, Kansas and Ohio State.
“Tony is ready for it to get over with,” White said. “He’s planning on doing it on Friday. We haven’t set a time yet but when we do, we’ll let everybody know.”
Unless something changes, Parker is also unlikely to make a return trip this week to visit any of his finalists, according to his coach.
The 6-foot-9, 280-pound Parker is ranked as the nation’s No. 26 overall prospect by ESPNU. He led Miller Grove to four straight state championships.
On Saturday, the website BruinsBall.com, which covers UCLA basketball and recruiting, created a Twitter frenzy by writing “Some of our sources very close to the situation have notified BruinsBall.com that as of now, Tony Parker is planning to commit to UCLA.”
On the same day, Parker played in the The Jordan Brand Classic all-star game with two UCLA recruits, Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson. Parker was 5 of 15 from the field, finishing with 8 points and 12 rebounds.
UCLA, as with other schools, has a few things working in its favor with Parker: His former AAU coach with the Atlanta Celtics, Korey McCray, was hired last summer as an assistant at UCLA; his Atlanta Celtics teammate, Jordan Adams, signed with UCLA in the early period; Parker enjoyed his official visit there, loves the weather, and is impressed with the program’s tradition.
The negatives about UCLA? Playing so far away may hinder his family’s opportunities to see games; Out of all of Parker’s finalists, UCLA would likely be the most challenging for Parker to make an instant impact with the team’s depth and talent in the post area.
UPDATE at 5:35 p.m. Monday: Parker has backed up his college decision to Monday. “Tony and his family just wanted a little more time,” Miller Grove coach Sharman White said. “That way, they will get the weekend to hammer it out.” No official time has been set but it will likely be around 3:30 or 4 p.m.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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