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Top junior center Jahlil Okafor blogs about City of Palms, Parker announcement


Jahlil Okafor is the top-ranked center and No. 2 overall prospect in the ESPN 60 for 2014. This past summer, Okafor, a 6-foot-10 junior at Whitney Young (Chicago), led Team USA to the FIBA U17 World Championship and took home MVP honors. That makes Okafor one of the most sought after prospects in the country, regardless of class, with heavyweights like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio State and Texas all in hot pursuit. Okafor has agreed to give USA TODAY HSS exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his every day life in a monthly blog.

What’s up guys, I’m back with my new blog and I’m definitely excited that we’re headed to Florida this week to play in the City of Palms Classic!

It’s one of my favorite tournaments, most definitely. I played in it back when I was just a freshman and it was great. I remember Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Austin Rivers and a bunch of other great players were there that year.

I remember thinking that I can’t wait until I’m one of the key players on my team. As a freshman I was a backup. So now I’m a key guy and I know the whole experience will be different. I can’t wait for that.

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Our first game is Thursday. We’re definitely in this thing to win it so we’ll play hard and see what happens.

So far we’re 4-0 and we’re playing pretty well. I’m averaging about 30 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and three assists a game. It’s early, but I’m playing pretty well. Hopefully we can keep it rolling.

The recruitment has been going well too. Coach (Rick) Pitino and some of his staff came to my school and watched me practice the other day. I didn’t get a chance to talk with him, but my dad did and that went well. Coach (Mike) Krzyzewski was at my first home game last Friday so that was great seeing them, of course.

I don’t think the kids knew he was coming because they go crazy when he comes. I don’t like to tell them beforehand because they just can’t handle that. It’s always funny to see their reactions to him though. They love Coach K.

I don’t know if I’ll see some of the coaches that are recruiting me at the City of Palms, but I’m sure some of them will be there.

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Of course everyone knows that my boy Jabari Parker is announcing this week and everyone wants to know if I know where he’s headed. I don’t know and I just can’t guess with Jabari. I could guess, but Jabari just thinks different from the way everyone else thinks and so you just never know. He always keeps people guessing. But whoever gets him will obviously be getting a star.

I would love to play with him in college. Of course we’re AAU teammates, and the reality is that I probably won’t be playing with him in college because he’s probably gonna have the chance to be a high draft pick after his freshman year wherever he goes.

I know wherever he goes I’ll be talking to him about that school and he’ll give me the inside scoop on everything.

I’ve talked a lot about me and Tyus’ (Jones) plan to play together in college so that shouldn’t be new to anyone and we’re definitely still planning that. I talk to Tyus everyday so nothing’s changed there.

MORE: Tyus Jones' Blog

Well, I better get going. Thanks for reading my blog guys. I really appreciate it.

Ya know I’m 17 years old now and from now on you’ll be reading the blog of a guy with more facial hair so I’m excited about that.

OK guys, thanks again and I always say this but remember if you don’t read it on my blog from me then just assume it’s not true.

Take care everyone!

Don’t forget to follow Okafor on Twitter @jahprobound.

 

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