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T-shirt maker aims to welcome visiting star Jabari Parker to Provo

By Peter Samore | Posted - Nov 23rd, 2012 @ 5:26pm

PROVO — The nation's top basketball recruit is visiting BYU Saturday night, and Cougars are welcoming him with custom t-shirts and a video parody.

Jabari Parker, a Mormon, is arguably the most sought-after recruit since LeBron James — and he is interested in BYU.

That's why entrepreneur and Cougar alumnus Greg Welch decided to make some t-shirts to give out at the game. He hopes 6,300 free t-shirts will make Parker feel welcome and willing to stay.

"We just want to provide some energy, provide some electricity in the building," said Greg Welch.

The t-shirt maker stresses he's not recruiting. He says Cougar fans would likely be thrilled if Parker played for them next year.

"As good as he is as a player, It's just been a real treat to see him on clips on news shows going to his seminary classes, and just what a high character guy he is."

Welch's blue and white t-shirts — which donors paid for — all say "Chicago to Provo." The Windy City is Parker's hometown.

But again, "I'm not the one that's recruiting him, but we all are just wishing the coaching staff that is the best of luck," Welch said.

Fans can pick up the shirts across from the Marriott Center's North side before the 7 p.m. tipoff in the game between BYU and Cal State Northridge.

Other Cougar fans put together a video on YouTube called "Parker Style" — a parody of Gangnam Style — to welcome the player.

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