Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014

ESPN report: Jabari Parker rules out going on Mormon mission, still undecided on declaring for NBA draft

Compiled by Brandon Judd, Deseret News

Published: Sat, April 12 1:05 a.m. MDT

 Duke's Jabari Parker, right, drives past Virginia's Justin Anderson, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, March 16, 2014.

Duke's Jabari Parker, right, drives past Virginia's Justin Anderson, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, March 16, 2014.

(Gerry Broome, AP)

With the April 27 deadline looming for underclassmen to declare for the 2014 NBA draft, ESPN is reporting Duke freshman Jabari Parker is still undecided whether he will enter the draft and is planning to meet with Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski next week to discuss the situation.

During an interview Friday with ESPN LA 710 in Los Angeles, Parker, a 19-year-old Chicago native and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, indicated he has ruled out going on a Mormon mission.

"I think I have, at this point," Parker said regarding making a decision on serving a mission, according to the L.A. Times. "It's either between returning or (going), and that's all I want to take care of."

This year's NBA draft takes place June 26.

In his freshman year at Duke, Parker averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 50.3 percent from the field for the Blue Devils. He was the first Duke freshman to earn consensus first-team All-America honors.

"It's a very tough decision, especially potentially leaving behind my coach and the program that really helped me out this year, so I really have to keep them in consideration in this whole process," Parker told the radio station.

The L.A. Times reported that during the interview, Parker "downplayed possibly playing for the Jazz in Salt Lake City." He also refuted a report that he has applied for student housing at Duke next year.

Other college freshmen who have already declared for this year's draft include Kansas's Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, Indiana's Noah Vonleh, Syracuse's Tyler Ennis and UCLA's Zach LaVine.

Email: bjudd@deseretnews.com; Twitter: @brandonljudd

Recommended
1. worf
Mcallen, TX,
April 11, 2014

One for two:

* will not go on a mission
* will not go back to Duke

2. LovelyDeseret
Gilbert, AZ,
April 11, 2014

I don't think there has been a great athlete that has regretted serving a Mormon mission.

3. vinnyb3
Provo, UT,
April 12, 2014

Super tough decision. He'll do great things for the LDS Church either way. I don't think most of us really understand how tough of a decision this would be.

4. Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT,
April 12, 2014

Good decision Jabari!

I don't think you will ever regret it.

Lovely Deseret,

How many great athletes who had tremendous professional careers have express regret over not going on a mission?

5. ABELIEVER
roy, UT,
April 12, 2014

My gut it telling me Jabari will stay in school to have a chance of winning an NCAA championship, plus he will be with a very talented roster and the best coach in college basketball. The Utah Jazz picked the wrong year to not be any good considering they will have the sixth pick in the draft and all of the best college players will be gone by the time they select.

How I wish Corbin would have started Kanter, Favors, Trey, Alex and Gordon three or four months ago and let them develop as a starting unit. I believe their record would be much better and management would be focusing more on free agency and surrounding them with good bench players with the available cap space they have then the upcoming draft.

I hope Jabari makes the right decision for himself and that the Jazz will get very luck in the lottery and have the balls bounce their way!!