“Ultimately, I boiled my decision down to two simple questions. The answer to both questions is undeniably the NBA.”
A day later than expected, but it turns out Jabari Parker won’t be registering for fall classes in Durham. By the time students at Duke will be counting down the days until Thanksgiving break, the school’s most popular freshman will be gearing up to make his NBA debut.
In an exclusive piece written for Sports Illustrated alongside Jeff Benedict, Parker made it official he’s joining an already enticing list of draftees in 2014.
On Tuesday I thanked Coach K for preparing me to become a professional. I expressed my appreciation to him for helping me grow so much as a person and a basketball player. And he reminded me how successful a season it was for our team and me personally. I told him that he is always going to be my coach. But the time has come for me to join the best basketball league in the world.
Coach K told me I needed to do what’s best for me and that I will always be a part of the Duke family. We talked about the next steps. We discussed everything from agents, to workouts to USA Basketball. What I appreciated most was his support and friendship.
Today I sent my letter of intent to the NBA. That makes it official — my days as a Duke basketball player are over.
But my days as a Duke student are not. I intend to graduate from Duke while I’m in the NBA. I was an honor student when I arrived at Duke, and I’d like to graduate as one.
Kudos to the young man for remaining committed to his education.
In more short-term emphasis though, fans of the Bucks, Sixers, Jazz, Kings, Lakers or Celtics can officially begin piecing together mock draft boards that will inevitably change 3,478,932 times between now and June. Perhaps perform goat sacrifices in hopes of convincing the universe you’re in need of the number one spot. Or better yet, ask Adam Silver to pull his rendition of the “frozen envelope” trick. Nevertheless, 34 days remain between now and the night ping pong balls stand side-by-side an actual basketball in terms of many franchises’ futures. Having said that, it’s tough to see Jabari slipping anywhere lower than the third pick.
On a related note, however, anyone else notice a particular trend in athlete written pieces for big-time publications? Jabari and Richard Sherman have both published articles for S.I. Rashard Mendenhall’s retirement statement was given to Huffington Post. And Arian Foster penned a piece on fatherhood last September for Yahoo!
What I’m getting at is this. Boogie Cousins, TSS has more than enough capable editors to help spread your thoughts and visions to the masses. Help us, help you, my friend!