Tony Parker, a senior at Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.), is the No. 21 player in the Class of 2012 and one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation, with UConn, Duke, UCLA, Ohio State, Georgetown, Memphis, Kentucky and Kansas all in the running for his services. He has agreed to chronicle the remainder of his final season and recruiting experiences leading up to his decision through a diary with ESPNHS.
I’m Tony Parker, a 6-foot-9 senior center at Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.). I play for the Sharman White, a great high school coach who has really pushed me to be a great basketball player. I love the game of basketball. It has given me a ton of recognition and attention to my community and school. This sport has made me grow as an athlete and as a man. It has allowed me to travel all over the world, and I’ve won two gold medals (Argentina and Germany) while playing for my country. The gold medals were and still are the best achievements in my career.
I have a great support system in my dad, Virgil, my mom, Hazel, and my sisters Jasmine and Kelsey Parker. I also have a great girlfriend in Destinie Gibbs, who attends McEachern [the No. 3 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 ESPNHS girls' basketball rankings]. She is currently committed to Ole Miss and, yes, she is a good basketball player who has never beat me in shooting (although she claims she hasn’t lost, ha ha).
OK, time for what you all have been waiting for: My recruitment.
So far it's going great! My schools are pretty consistent, and I have great coaches and staffs recruiting me in Ohio State, Duke, UCLA, Georgetown, Memphis, Kentucky, UConn and Kansas. Those are all great programs with a lot of championships and NBA players to boast. These schools have all seen me play numerous times. Recently, Coach K was at our game vs. St. Anthony. I played absolutely horrible without question. St. Anthony's coach Bob Hurley did a great job of making sure there was more than one player (sometimes more than two) around me to keep me at bay. It really worked! But I watched film and learned from my mistakes, so in the near future I won’t have to worry about that problem because I’ve seen it before. Duke and Ohio State coaches make it a point to come see me during the season and I do appreciate them coming. It doesn’t faze me much because I know I still I have to play hard regardless.
My coaches said Big John (former Georgetown coach John Thompson Sr.) was at my game last Saturday versus Dunwoody. Having him at one of my games is an absolute honor because he is a great coach and man. He has done a lot for basketball, and my family really appreciated him coming because they grew up watching Georgetown in their neighborhood. If you were a good basketball player, Georgetown was the place to be.
UCLA is a great place and L.A. is a great city! They have two recruits in Jordan Adams (Oak Hill Academy) and Kyle Anderson (St. Anthony), both of whom I've known since seventh grade. We all have good chemistry and are close friends, so they do try to recruit me. I know I would have two close friends there if I were to choose UCLA.
Kentucky is a great basketball state and they are crazy about the Wildcats in Lexington. I'm also very close with UK commit Alex Porythress, who was my AAU teammate this past summer on great Georgia Stars. He also tries to recruit me to Kentucky of course and I have played with him a lot, so our chemistry is unbelievable which gives them a good shot.
Memphis is close to home and they have signed Shaq Goodwin, a close friend who has been playing with and against me for years. We know each other like the back of our hands. Memphis, the city is absolutely crazy about the Tigers, which is also a plus.
In my spare time I love NBA 2K12. I am an absolute beast with the new Clippers. I enjoy playing point guard with Chris Paul because I’m a point at heart. I am very close with my young bro "little" Julius Randle. He is a great kid and was my roommate at the Nike Global Challenge. I have had a lot of success in high school (three consecutive state championships and currently working on No. 4) simply because I feel like success is in hard work and without hard work you will never be successful. God has blessed me with knowing the difference between working hard and hardly working. Thank you ESPNHS. Until next time!
Make sure to follow Tony on Twitter: @Tonyparker32.