By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — After one year at Duke, former Illinois high school basketball phenom Jabari Parker on Thursday said he will enter the NBA Draft.
Parker, who starred at Simeon High School in Chicago, had considered returning for his sophomore season at Duke after the Blue Devils were upset by Mercer in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected to be a top first round pick, Parker decided to turn pro after all.
Based on 2013-14 NBA salary data, the No. 3 draft pick averages $3.565 million in his first year, $3.725 million in the second, $3.885 million for the third-year option and closer to $5 million for the fourth.
CBS Chicago senior columnist Dan Bernstein wrote last week that returning to Duke would be crazy for Parker.
It turns out he’s not so crazy.
“My father, Sonny, played in the NBA,” Parker told Sports Illustrated. I know firsthand that the career span of a pro basketball player is finite. The lucky ones play until their mid-30s. With that perspective, I shrink my professional career with each year that I remain in college. It’s ironic, but true.”
The 6-foot-8 Parker averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 47.3 percent from the field in his one season at Duke en route to earning first team All-American honors. He also won the Wayman Tisdale Award, given to the nation’s top freshman.
He was part of four state championship teams while at Simeon.