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In just his first full week as UConn head coach, Kevin Ollie has scored a minor recruiting victory.
Jabari Parker, the top-rated high school senior in the country, added UConn to his list of finalists, according to an ESPNChicago.com report.
Ollie has a home visit scheduled with Parker, a talented forward out of Simeon Career Academy, in Chicago for next week.
“It’s Jabari’s decision,” Parker’s father, Sonny, told ESPN. “He’s picking all the schools for the home visits. He’s talked to coach Calhoun previously before. That’s one of the schools that showed some interest to him. He’s had conversations with them previously. Of course, coach Kevin Ollie came in, and (Jabari) wanted them for a home visit.”
Calhoun, the legendary Hall of Fame coach, announced his retirement last week. Ollie, an assistant the last two years, was hired on the same day.
Ollie has only one season to prove that he deserves another contract.
UConn has some stiff competition for Parker who also set up home visits with Michigan State, Duke, Stanford, North Carolina, Kansas, DePaul, Florida and BYU.
Parker, who averaged 19.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 1.4 steals per game last season and earned his state’s Mr. Basketball award. will trim his list to just five schools and then make official visits, according to ESPN.
UConn is making inroads with other promising recruits.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes, a 6-4 shooting guard out of Huntington Prep in West Virginia, is considering Illinois, UConn and Florida State. He'll be on the Illinois campus this weekend. He’ll visit Storrs next week (Sept. 27-29).
Tharon Mayes, Xavier’s father, is a New Haven native. He also played for Florida State.
Today’s American Athletic Conference Championship semifinal doubleheader is underway here at the XL Center in Hartford. A crowd in the 12,000-13,000 range is expected for the UConn-Tulsa game. Tip-off time is 5 p.m.