Five-star senior Tony Parker announces for UCLA

The addition of five-star big man Tony Parker could give UCLA the No. 1 class in the country. (Five-Star Basketball)

One week it was Ohio State. The next week it was Duke. Then UCLA. Or Kansas. Memphis was always in the mix. Kentucky and Connecticut entered the fold for a few weeks. Then hometown Georgia made a late run at him.

After many twists and turns, Tony Parker’s recruitment came to an end on Monday afternoon. The five-star big man announced for UCLA during a press conference at his high school.

Parker, a 6-foot-8 center from Miller Grove (Ga.), chose the Bruins over Georgia, Duke, Ohio State, Kansas and Memphis.

He took several visits, including officials to Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, Memphis and UCLA. Parker’s recruitment was a difficult one to read or predict, with so many schools seemingly in the running at different times. He and his family played everything very close to the vest, and his decision was unknown by nearly everyone until he made his announcement on Monday.

In the end, though, UCLA head coach Ben Howland hiring assistant coach Korey McCray from an Atlanta-area AAU program last June paid off in a major way. The Bruins struck with top-100 prospect Jordan Adams last summer, and the Los Angeles-to-Atlanta connection helped Howland land Parker. 

Ranked No. 21 in the class of 2012, Parker is a legitimate post player, with effective back-to-the-basket moves and tremendous hands. He has good touch on his shot and his wide body makes him tough to keep out of the paint. When he’s focused and in shape, he’s one of the more difficult post players to defend in the class.

With Parker's commitment, one can make the case UCLA has the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. No. 2-ranked prospect Shabazz Muhammad and No. 3 Kyle Anderson are already in the fold, as is No. 71 Adams. 

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