From our friends at USA Basketball:

After helping the USA to a perfect 5-0 record and the gold medal at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship this past summer, and earning tournament MVP honors along the way, Jabari Parker (Simeon H.S./Chicago, Ill.) today was announced as the 2011 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.

“It means a lot to get this award,” Parker said. “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.”

Starting in all five games for the USA during the June 21-25 tournament in Cancun, Mexico, Parker averaged 15.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals in  21.4 minutes per game, while shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point.

“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,” said Don Showalter, USA U16 and Mid-Prairie High School (Iowa) and head coach. “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.”

Parker will be submitted for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s 2011 SportsMan of the Year Award, which will be announced in 2012.  The USA Basketball Board of Directors is responsible for selecting USA Basketball’s annual awards.

“Jabari not only earned MVP honors at the tournament with a tremendous performance, but he also was a great teammate on and off the court,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball Executive Director/CEO. “We are grateful for his commitment and dedication, and USA Basketball is proud to recognize his efforts.”

In the USA’s opening game against Brazil, Parker scored a USA men’s U16 single-game record with 27 points. In that same game, Parker shot 9-of-10 from the field, grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double and tied the single-game high for free throws made with seven.  He went on to compile 21 points, seven rebounds and five steals in a win versus Argentina; and 14 points and seven rebounds in the gold medal game against Argentina.

Among all competitors at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, Parker ranked fifth in scoring average (15.4); seventh in 3-point field goals made (7); tied for eighth in defensive rebounding (4.8 rpg.); and 10th in 3-point field goal percentage (.412).

As a member of the 2011-12 USA Basketball Developmental National Team, Parker also participated in a USA mini-camp held Oct. 9-10, 2011 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and he is expected to compete for a roster spot on the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Championship Team next summer.
Parker attends Simeon High School in Chicago, Ill., where he has helped his 2011-12 team to a 12-0 record as of Dec. 30, 2011. As a sophomore in 2010-11, he aided his team to the Illinois Class 4A state championship and a 30-2 record, averaging 15.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

In its 31st year, the USA Basketball Athlete of the Year award has been garnered by notable athletes such as Kevin Durant (2010), James McAdoo (2009), the USA Men’s National Team (2008), Jason Kidd (2007), Carmelo Anthony (2006), Shelden Williams (2005), Sean May (2004 co-recipient), Chris Paul (2004 co-recipient), Tim Duncan (2003), Reggie Miller (2002), Chris Duhon (2001), Alonzo Mourning (2000, 1990), Gary Payton (1999), Elton Brand (1998), Earl Boykins (1997), Scottie Pippen (1996 and as a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team), Ray Allen (1995), Shaquille O’Neal (1994), Michael Finley (1993), Christian Laettner (1991), Larry Johnson (1989), Dan Marjerle (1988), Danny Manning (1987), David Robinson (1986 and as a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team), Chuck Person (1985), Michael Jordan (1984 co-recipient, 1983 and as a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team), Sam Perkins (1984 co-recipient), Glenn Rivers (1982), Kevin Boyle (1981) and Isiah Thomas (1980).

About USA Basketball
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the United States by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.

Since 2008, USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams have compiled a sterling 134-6 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions of the Olympics and the FIBA World Championships; FIBA women’s U19 world champions;  the men’s and women’s title holders for the FIBA U17 World Championships; and the men’s and women’s U18 and U16 FIBA Americas champions. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world ranking categories, including combined, men’s, women’s, boys and girls.

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