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April 18, 2012

Parker moves to top of 2013 rankings

MORE: 2013 Rivals150 | 2012 Rivals150

Last week saw the beginning of the spring signing period and the release of the final Rivals150 for the class of 2012. Today, Rivals.com turns the page with the release of a new class of 2013 Rivals150 ranking.

With a new set of rankings, there's a new No. 1 player in the land as 6-foot-8 Jabari Parker of Chicago moves up from the second spot.

"It feels very good to me," said Parker of his No. 1 ranking by Rivals. "But, I still have some doubt in my mind that says I don't deserve some of these things I'm getting so it makes me work harder every day."

The Rivals honor is the latest for the Chicago Simeon product, who is fresh off leading his team to a third straight state title and was named Gatorade's national player of the year.

"Everything was tremendous for me," Parker told Rivals.com about his junior year. "Coming into the beginning of the season we didn't know how we were going to do it because everybody was targeting us and giving us their best."

Blessed with developed perimeter skills and the size to play on the interior when needed, Parker is a mismatch in nearly any situation and it showed on the floor. But Parker knows the competition in his class is strong, and he'll need to be at his best to maintain the No. 1 spot throughout the next year.

He doesn't feel as if he's had the chance to test himself against the rest of a top six - Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Aaron Harrison and Chris Walker, respectively.

For now at least, that top six has separated from the rest of the 2013 class.

"I see a lot of the guys that are in my class and they do well too," Parker said. "I didn't get a chance to play a lot against them so I don't know where I stand with them. I've played a lot of the older guys and done well, but it's good to not get complacent."

As for the rest of that top six, 6-foot-5 Andrew Harrison had held the top spot and the Fort Bend (Texas) Travis guard doesn't drop very far, as he settles into No. 2. His size, strength and skill allow him to dominate games from the point guard position without even needing to take a shot at times. His twin brother, Aaron, is more of a shooting guard and a dangerous scorer from deep. His athleticism and strength help him check in at No. 5 nationally.

The state of Texas boasts the third-ranked prospect in 2013, as well, in the 6-9 Randle of Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian. He is a bruising interior player who has the ability to attack off the dribble and keep defenders honest with his jumper.

At No. 4 in the 2013 Rivals150, San Jose (Calif.) Mitty's Gordon is probably the best athlete in his class. A freakish leaper who blends body control and strength, the 6-7 forward is much more than just an athlete. He is a clever scorer near the rim, rebounds on both ends, is an above average ballhandler and has turned himself into a threat as a shooter.

Rounding out that top group of six is Walker of Bonifay (Fla.) Holmes County. Another elite athlete, the 6-9 junior is a sleek open-court performer with burgeoning skills facing the hoop. Near the rim, his combination of length, quickness and bounce is simply too much for most to handle.

It's a loaded group atop the new rankings, with Parker proving - at least at this point - to be the best of the bunch. Parker says that he's looking forward to hitting the road and proving that he belongs in the top spot.

"It feels good and it shows that I accomplished some things and was doing good at that time," Parker said. "But, you have to keep your goals set high and your mindset high and not be accepting of it."



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