Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Jabari Parker Wishes Harry Giles Good Luck, Says Duke Has ‘Best Trainers’ for Rehab
Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK — One past Duke star is wishing good luck to a potential future one.
Jabari Parker, a one-and-done at Duke before declaring for the 2014 NBA draft, is glad that Harry Giles picked the Blue Devils as his future team on Friday.
“I just wish him all the best of luck, I know Harry personally,” Parker told SNY.tv exclusively before his Milwaukee Bucks met the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. “I’m so glad that he picked Duke but he was considering some pretty good schools, too. But personally I appreciate that he’s a part of the family now.”
The 6-foot-10 Giles chose the Devils over Kentucky, Kansas and Wake Forest, as many expected he would.
Parker was unaware that Giles had torn his right ACL this week until a reporter mentioned it to him. It is the second ACL tear for the power forward, who previously tore his left ACL and MCL in high school.
“I’m sorry to hear that, I didn’t know,” said Parker, who himself is coming off a torn ACL suffered last December. “Is it a different leg?”
Told that it was, Parker said the Duke facilities would be tremendous for Giles in his recovery.
“Now that he’s committed to Duke, they can offer him the best treatment, the best technology, because we offer some of the best trainers,” Parker said. “And I think Peyton Manning, he did his rehab there. Of course myself during the summer.”
ACL recovery typically takes 6-9 months, meaning Giles should be ready to go when Duke’s 2016-17 season begins. Parker is returning to action some 11 months after his ACL injury last December.
Parker never played against Giles, “but I have watched him growing up.”
“I’ve seen him grown and man, he’ s great player,” Parker said. “He’s always going to be a top player. I hope he comes back strong and better, and he has a bright future.”
Duke’s run of big men has gone from Jahlil OKafor to Chase Jeter to Giles next season, with potentially Wendell Carter Jr. in 2017.
“He’s more of a stretch five, in between,” Parker said of Giles. “Not much from the 3-point line, but he can play out, face up, that’s his game. He can play back-to-the-basket, can dribble. He’s a little bit like Jahlil, great hands, agile feet. He’s a perfect big for the system. I mean, he’s a basketball player.”
Giles said he will return fine from his second ACL, and Parker believes he will.
“I think so because you’re pretty much experienced and you know what you have to expect going in,” Parker said. “But mentally I think that he’s more mature than any 17, 18-year-old that I know.”
As for his own ACL recovery, Parker’s game against the Knicks will be just his second back. He played 16 minutes and shot 1-for-6 for 2 points on Wednesday in Philadelphia.
“My legs aren’t the issue,” he said. “It’s just the experience that I lack.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.