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January 17, 2011

Parker shines in Ohio tourney

KETTERING, Ohio- The 2011 Flying to the Hoop continued at the Trent Arena on the campus of Kettering (Ohio) Fairmont on Sunday. After Chicagoan Anthony Davis led the charge on Saturday, it was the Windy City's next big thing, Jabari Parker, who did the most damage on the day's second event as he and his Simeon teammates were very impressive in a victory over a good Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar squad.

Parker a big time talent in 2013

Already ranked in the ten nationally, Robert Smith's Chicago (Ill.) Simeon team is proving that they may even be a bit underrated. The Simeon squad has size, speed, athleticism and they respond well to Smith's coaching. Of course, it doesn't hurt that their best player, sophomore wing Jabari Parker, is a hard working star with zero attitude and a great work ethic.

Skilled on the offensive end, the 6-foot-7 Parker is able to get his points without having to force anything. He handles the ball well, catches and shoots with range, gets on the offensive glass and is a good passer. He's still got some baby fat on his frame, but has gotten into significantly better shape since the summer and is quite a bit more athletic than generally given credit for.

He's currently a five-star prospect and rated #11 in the nation for the class of 2013, but after seeing him this year a case can be made that even at that lofty ranking he's a bit underrated. He was good for 20 points and six boards in Simeon's 53-39 spanking of an outstanding Dayton Dunbar squad.

More Sunday notables

DaVonte Beard, SG, St. Vincent St. Mary- The 6-foot-2 senior has really helped his cause this winter. Previously known as more of a slashing wing, he's added a nice looking jumper with range to 22 feet. Sunday, he shook off a rough first half to score 23 of his game high 25 points in the second frame as he tried to bring SVSM back against a tough Huntington Prep squad. LaSalle, Cleveland State, Boston College, Akron, Toledo, George Washington, Southern Illinois, Northeastern, Duquesne and others have been in touch lately.

Deontae Hawkins, PF, Dunbar- A three-star prospect who currently checks in at #141 in the 2012 Rivals150, Hawkins is a skinny face-up four man with length and a very nice looking jump shot. He runs the floor, can finish with athleticism around the rim and has range to the three point stripe. He does need to add strength in a bad way, but he's progressing nicely as a prospect. Hawkins was good for 14 points and seven boards in a losing effort against Simeon.

Charles Lee, PG, Huntington Prep- We've now seen Huntington play four games in the past few weeks and the little point guard headed to Cleveland State has been outstanding each time. Despite being a sub six-footer, he doesn't lack anything for toughness, can shoot from deep and gets his teammates involved. He was good for 15 points and five assists on Sunday.

Xavier Rathan-Mayes, SG, Christian Faith- Only a freshman, this class of 2014 shooting guard is one of several Canadians playing for Ro Russell at Christian Faith. At 6-foot-2, he's got good size and a nice lean frame for a young guy and a good looking jumper. He can create shots off the dribble, shows promise as a defender and looks like he could end up as a pretty high level player before it's all said and done. Rathan-Mayes was good for 14 points and four assists.

Kaja Kajami-Keane, PG, Christian Faith- Ro Russell has got himself a nice looking point guard prospect in the 6-foot-1 sophomore. Under control, in charge and aware of his surroundings, the Canadian import has an outstanding feel for the game, nice looking jump shot and the type of balanced demeanor you love to see in a point guard. He finished with 18 points, four assists and a pair of rebounds while not missing a shot from the floor.

Final Sunday notes and observations

Because Simeon is so laden with talent and experience, sophomore shooting guard Kendrick Nunn has to come off the bench. The 6-foot-2 lefty is a high level athlete, big time competitor and extremely quick. Foul trouble limited him a bit, but it's a great development to see him turning into a knockdown spot-up jump shooter to go along with all of his other tools. … Massive 2012 center Sim Bhullar had another nice outing on Sunday. He made all seven of his field goal attempts and 6-8 FT's to finish with 20 points and seven rebounds. When he gets position around the basket, it's pretty much impossible for anybody to stop him from turning and scoring. … Among the schools in attendance on Sunday were Xavier, Ohio, Ball State, VCU, Wisconsin, American, Tulane, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Old Dominion, IUPUI, Oakland, Duquesne, Dayton and Delaware. …


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