Thursday, September 22, 2011

Uu breaking through Class 2012 Basketball

 Small forward
Carmichael, California
Class:2012 (High School)

Steve Hu, Norcal Preps
Before getting into the basketball details, one needs to understand the interesting background of Parker Uu from Jesuit High. First, the name - it is pronounced as it is spelled, "you-you." Uu is half Samoan and half Dutch. He says of his cultural background breakthrough, "Opposing players seem to underestimate me on the court until they feel the natural strength that I've inherited from my father. Not very many Samoans play basketball these days besides my brother and me. I don't know any other Samoans who play Division I basketball. I hope to represent my Samoan background and play Division I basketball and hopefully go beyond that." In addition, U'u competes in swimming and was the fifth best swimmer in the country as a 10 year old. As for the basketball, Uu has the physical attributes and skills to play at the next level. As a sophomore, this Marauder averaged 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists that helped them to a 22-7 record with a second round California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoff loss to Oakmont 82-70. In the loss, he accounted for a fourth of the team scoring with 18 points. At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Uu is the No. 11 player in the 2012 boys basketball rankings. This Marauder can run 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash, can bench press 220 pounds, and has a vertical of 30 inches. With his physical attributes, Uu can play both a finesse and power game. He says, "I like to use my body to create separation and use my strength on defense and rebounding. Aside from taking advantage of my frame, I can also be very finesse. Much of my game is smooth. I feel like I have a good feel for the game and strong basketball IQ." Uu compares his game with former Santa Clara star Steve Nash and says, "I feel that Nash is the ultimate team player. I love the way he makes his teammates better. Much like Steve Nash, I feel like I am very unselfish and always willing to do whatever it takes for my team to win. Nash is also a phenomenal shooter, which is one of the strong points in my game." Uu's older brother, Drake, plays for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and also helped the younger Uu to mature and to understand the nuances of the game. During the summer, Uu plays with his club team, Team 94, which is coached by former Golden State Warrior Phil Handy. Team 94 features Mackenzie Moore (College Park HS), John Green (Castlemont HS), and Will Davis (Sacramento HS). Uu says about playing with Team 94, "I really enjoyed the experience of playing at a higher level since I was the youngest on the team at 15 years old, while everyone else was 17, 18, or 19. I learned a lot from the experiences and I enjoyed traveling with the team to South Carolina, Texas, Las Vegas, and Arizona." Coach Handy says, "Parker was a big time contributor to the success of Team 94 this spring and summer. He played at a high level on both ends of the floor and really captured the interest of a lot of D1 coaches with his ability to shoot the ball from deep. If he continues to work on his game and maintain his level of confidence, he will have a great group of schools to select from for scholarship offers." Uu indeed performed at a high level during the spring and summer as he made the top performers list for the Compton Magic Memorial Day Tournament, Dinos' Full Court Press Frosh/Soph all-star team, Duel in the Desert Top 100, and was one of the top performers at this year's NorCal Clash. At the NorCal Clash in San Pablo, Uu displayed his ability to move without the ball and being able to position himself for open three point looks. During his down time, this Marauder works on his perimeter shooting, ball handling, speed, and quickness. He practices plyometrics in order to improve his vertical jumping. Coach Handy says, "Parker has a very high basketball IQ and very versatile on both ends of the floor. He is one of the best shooters on the west coast in his class. Plays with a good motor and works hard. Has a good passion for the game and wants to improve." Uu, who has been playing organized basketball for six years, hopes his efforts will lead the Marauders to a great season and a deeper run in the playoffs. His ultimate goal is to win a state championship. Individually, he wants to be the leader of the team and do whatever it takes to win games this season. He strives to be the best shooter on the west coast, a dominant scorer, and continuing to be a team player. Jesuit Coach Greg Harcos says, "Ultimately, I see Parker as a two guard but with our lack of size he is going to be asked to do a lot of things such as posting up. He could be very hard to guard if he develops all facets of his game and has more weapons than just his smooth stroke." Uu will team with point guard Akachi Okugo to make an effective duo for Jesuit. Coach Harcos says, "Akachi and Parker are two of our best players and they have a large influence on the others. So, I expect them to lead by example and their play." Conversely, Uu says about Coach Harcos, "He has treated every workout to be important and there are consequences for missing them. He has really helped my defense by pushing me in practice and by forcing me to become a better player. It has shaped me to become a better player on the court as well as representing the Jesuit Marauders." Going into his junior year, Cal, Cal Poly SLO, Columbia, Hartford, Denver, Penn, Princeton, Seattle, Stanford, St. Mary's, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, and West Virginia have contacted him. He has made unofficial visits to Cal, Cal Poly SLO, and Stanford. Coach Handy says, "Mid-Major D1 prospect. He has a D1 body without having lifted weights. He will be great in the Big West, WCC, Ivy League, Mountain West, and some Pac-10 schools." Uu wants to attend a strong program with great coaching and good teammates. He prefers a good weather climate. Academically, he has a 3.50 GPA and has not taken the SATs yet. He is undecided on his college major but his favorite subjects are History, Math, and Science. Master P, what his teammates call him, has a deep spiritual faith. As a freshman, Uu transferred from Rio Americano HS to Jesuit and the transition was difficult as he had to leave most of his middle school friends and had to transfer from a public to a private school. He is grateful for his family, friends, and school environment that made the transition smoother. As a freshman at Rio Americano HS, he sprained his ankle and had to deal with the frustration. Uu persevered and overcame the injury so as not to miss any game time. He matured through this adversity. "U" "2" should look out for this Marauder to break through for Jesuit and for his NCAA prospects the next two years.

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