Blue-chip high school basketball prospect Tony Parker need only purchase five hats for Friday’s news conference in which he’ll announce his college choice.
Parker, a 6-foot-9, 280-pound senior center from Miller Grove High in Lithonia, Ga. — who had joked to the Charlotte Observer he’d like to chop his list from seven to five because he has to “pay 30 dollars a hat” — on Sunday eliminated Memphis and Georgetown, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Parker, Rivals.com’s No. 27-rated player, has a final list of Kansas University, UCLA, Duke, Georgia and Ohio State.
“Tony is ready for it to get over with,” Miller Grove coach Sharman White told the Journal-Constitution on Sunday. “He’s planning on doing it on Friday. We haven’t set a time yet but when we do, we’ll let everybody know.”
He said reports that Parker had chosen UCLA were not true.
“That’s something that got started at (Jordan Classic all-star game last weekend). It doesn’t have any legs to it,” White told the paper. “Tony has not committed yet.”
Parker — he’s ranked No. 21 by ESPNU — scored eight points off 5-of-15 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds in Saturday’s Jordan Brand Classic.
The Journal-Constitution listed reasons UCLA might be the favorite. Korey McCray, his former Atlanta Celtics AAU coach, was hired last summer as an assistant at UCLA. Former Celtics teammate Jordan Adams has signed with UCLA.
Also, the Nos. 1 (Shabazz Muhammad) and 3 (Kyle Anderson) players have signed with UCLA and have asked Parker to join them to form a strong recruiting class in Westwood.
“I can’t wait until he decides to come to UCLA hopefully,” Muhammad, who had 20 points in the Jordan Classic, told The Sporting News. “He’s such a good player, and if we get him, that’s the icing on the cake.
“It’s a big-time program and needs big-time players. When you get big-time players at big-time programs, you are successful on that level so I think if he puts himself in there with me, Kyle and the other McDonald’s All-Americans they have, I think it will be a great opportunity for us.”
Parker has publicly praised KU strength coach Andrea Hudy and indicated he’d like to be part of her strength program.
“I’ve got to go somewhere that has a crazy trainer like KP,” Parker told ESPN, referring to his trainer, Kevin Peoples. “That’s one of the things I love about Kansas. I love Hudy.
“She’s a monster,” Parker added. “She’ll get you where you need to be. Kansas has a lot of things I like. They love me there.”
It has been said his mother favors Georgia, yet also likes Duke.
In his recent diary entry for SLAM Magazine, Parker said: “I still have a lot to work on and right now I’m focused on expanding my game. I’ve been working on a variety of ways to score, especially away from the block. During high school, I was usually bigger and stronger than everyone else, so I would bully my way to the bucket, but at the next level that’s not going to work most of the time. I’m trying to stretch my game and work on my outside moves so guys will have to come out and defend me at different areas every trip down the court.”
Runner-up: Archie Goodwin, a 6-4 senior guard from Sylvan Hills High in Little Rock, Ark., who has signed with Kentucky, told ESPN.com his runner-up school was KU.
“I love coach Bill Self and I loved Kansas. The school was great, the fans were great and they did a great job recruiting me, but, honestly, there wasn’t anything they could’ve done to get me. I had been saying since the ninth grade that I wanted to play for coach (John) Calipari. I tried to give everyone a chance, but I never got the same feeling I did with Coach Cal,” Goodwin said.
Signing day for White: Andrew White, a 6-6, 210-pound senior guard/forward from Miller School in Charlottesville, Va., will sign his letter of intent with KU today at his high school. White, who committed to KU in December and is ranked No. 56 by Rivals.com, averaged 22.9 points and 10 rebounds for 20-10 Miller School. He chose KU over North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Richmond, Texas, Georgetown and others. He will play in the Capital Classic all-star game Saturday in Alexandria, Va.