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Parker earns USA athlete of year honors

Jabari Parker earned tournament MVP honors at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship last summer. Scott Powers/ESPNChicago.com

Simeon junior Jabari Parker was named the 2011 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year on Tuesday.

Parker earned tournament MVP honors while leading his team to a 5-0 record and the goal medal at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship last summer. Parker averaged 15.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 21.4 minutes a game.

"Jabari was not only a great athlete, along with the other players on our U16 team, but also an extremely focused athlete that was coachable and wanted to improve," U16 coach Don Showalter said in a statement. "His size and quickness were great assets that he used to his advantage. The main thing I appreciated about Jabari is that he understood the level he needed to play at every second on the court during practice and games."

Kevin Durant won the award in 2010. Other past winners with Chicago ties include Michael Finley, Michael Jordan, Glenn Rivers, Scottie Pippen and Isiah Thomas. The award was first given in 1980.

"It means a lot to get this award," Parker said in a statement. "I'm honored and grateful for the selection. It shows that at an early age I had a good summer. I'm thankful all of the hard work paid off."

Parker will be submitted for the U.S. Olympic Committee's 2011 SportsMan of the Year Award, which will be announced later in 2012.