Miller Grove's Tony Parker was one of several undecided prospects to take part in Wednesday's McDonald's All-American game, and early on it was easy to see why teams across the country are hoping he selects them on April 11. Parker scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds in the first half to keep the East squad close entering halftime. The West would ultimately prevail 106-102 as Parker finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Miller Grove coach Sharman White spoke with Parker throughout the days leading up to the game as well as after the event, and noted that Parker had an incredible experience in Chicago.
"He enjoyed a lot of the things leading up to the game," said White, who coached Parker to four straight Class AAAA state titles at Miller Grove. "He really liked spending time with some of the best players in the country."
White was able to watch the scrimmage that pitted top players against one another in an informal setting. "I enjoyed that. He played well and overall it was a great experience for him. He could not have imagined it being better than it was."
The Chicago weather is clearly a bit different than Atlanta's, and Parker was one of several players affected by the weather. "The weather change got to him, slowed him down," said White. The coach quickly added that Parker would never use that as an excuse though. "He still went out and gave it his all."
As with most all-star games, the flow was choppy and it was hard for most players to get into a rhythm. "With it being an all-star game, it is a different type of setting," said White. "He wishes he could have done more, but players aren't used to the minutes they get (in the all-star games)."
Parker was utterly dominating during one stretch of the second quarter, finishing on several plays and following up another's miss for an easy bucket. Future UCLA Bruin Kyle Anderson fed him on one play that nearly caused Twitter to crash with predictions that Anderson-to-Parker could continue at the next level.
Parker will announce his decision April 11 and sign his letter of intent during the late signing period. White noted that fellow McDonald's All-Americans were recruiting him hard during the experience, but "that has been the case all year."
While some reports have Parker narrowing his field down to UCLA, Duke and Kansas, White revealed that Ohio State and Georgia are still among Parker's choices. "No one has been ruled out." And Bulldog fans will like to hear that "Georgia is definitely still in it."