The nation’s number one basketball recruit will make his final university visit to BYU on Nov. 24 and fans have already been planning on making his stay memorable.
Jabari Parker is one of the most hyped recruits BYU has ever had. Saturday, Parker is set to be at the BYU vs. Cal State-Northridge basketball game. This will be part of his last official visit before he decides what he will do after his senior season in high school.
BYU fans know they must leave a good impression, especially after Parker’s other four visits to top basketball programs Duke, Michigan State, Florida and Stanford.
After hearing that Duke fans chanted Parker’s name when he visited the Blue Devils campus, BYU grad Greg Welch decided BYU fans needed to do something big.
“I heard about Jabari’s visit to Duke and how they cheered his name,” Welch said. “I thought we could do better.”
The NCAA rules are strict in regards to potential recruits, and ultimately, Welch decided on making t-shirts.
The design for the t-shirt came as Welch traveled to the BYU vs. Notre Dame football game from Iowa and seeing the Chicago skyline where Parker is from.
Once he returned from the trip, he decided on the idea of “Chicago to Provo.” He quickly came up with the design and set up a website for donations, but was still not sure what would come of it.
“I designed the shirt and put together the website,” Welch said. “I had no idea it would work.”
Not only did it work, but it surpassed his expectations. As donations came to an end on Nov. 9, enough money was raised by BYU fans for 6,300 shirts, which easily passed the goal of 5,000.
“I have been really overwhelmed by this response,” Welch said. “BYU is just an unique community.”
Welch wants to be sure students and fans have an opportunity to pick up a t-shirt before the game. Fans can pick up shirts across the street just north of the Marriott Center on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Welch has also allowed access to the design so fans can make their own posters, flags or shirts as long as the design is not altered. (The pdf can be found here).
It’s support like this that brings comments from the basketball team.
“It (the fan support) is amazing,” BYU guard Craig Cusick said. “We thank our fans so much. It makes a huge difference.”
Cougar fans hope Parker will be able to see that support and feel welcomed at BYU
The game will be on Saturday after Thanksgiving. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center