Basketball phenom, devout Mormon commits to Duke

Charles Rex Arbogast AP Simeon Career Academy’s Jabari Parker (22) drives to the basket past an unidentified Marist High School … Continued

Charles Rex Arbogast


Simeon Career Academy’s Jabari Parker (22) drives to the basket past an unidentified Marist High School player during an Illinois state sectional championship game in Summit, Ill in March.

Jabari Parker, a prep basketball star out of Chicago and devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced Thursday he will be attending Duke University in the fall.

“My faith keeps me grounded,” one of the top basketball players in the country said in a Sports Illustrated profile.

According to the Duke Chronicle, the 18-year-old picked Duke over Michigan State, Brigham Young University, Florida and Stanford.

“His father, Sonny Parker—who played in the NBA—and his caring mother, Lola, have played invaluable roles in keeping Jabari on the right path while navigating through an incredibly hyped high school basketball career and recruiting process,” according to the Web site for student newspaper at the university.

At some point, there was some thought the young athlete would defer college to on mission.

“Most missionaries are about 20 years old, though many older married couples also choose to serve. Missionaries voluntarily put aside school, work and dating for about two years in order to serve the Lord at their own expense,” according to the LDS church Web site.

In the fall, church leaders agreed to lower the age for male missionaries who have graduated from high school from 19 to 18.

Parker’s father told ESPNChicago in October: “When he’s 18 and if he did want to go on a mission, he can now. He has to decide whether or not (he wants to). He hasn’t decided one way or another. We’ve talked about it.

“If he’s going at 18, he would go to a mission and then possibly go to college or to the NBA. I know his situation is different than a lot of people. We’ll just see.”

  • DrWaffles

    This isn’t in the sports section because…?

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