Duke phenom Parker taking it slow

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DURHAM, N.C. -- While it came in a rare insight to the Duke basketball program with a practice session open to the public, freshman forward Jabari Parker made a coast-to-coast maneuver that had spectators giddy and awestruck. A blocked shot at one end, a dunk at the other end.

Fans figure to see lots more from Parker when the games count in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

"Hungry to learn," Parker said. "I'm at Square 1. I'm learning."

Parker, a highly acclaimed recruit from Chicago, played his senior season in high school after coming off a foot injury that created a diversion in his training. Now, he said he's full-speed ahead.

"My injury is in the past and there's nothing to make excuses anymore," he said.

Parker, 18, said he's learning to take advantage of conditioning and the training room provided at Duke.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski was already gracious in his praise of the 6-foot-8 Parker by the time practices were under way in late September.

"He has a huge growth process to go through," Krzyzewski said. "He's not a finished product, but he's a good product.

"If he's healthy, he's going to keep getting better. He's coachable. He's a good kid. He doesn't have any demons."

Parker is dubbed one of those potential one-and-done college players, but he said that's not on his mind.

"This is the first step in the process," he said.


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