In what was a widely expected move, Duke All American forward Jabari Parker has made intentions clear that he will enter the 2014 NBA Draft.
I’ve been weighing this question for the past two years. After talking with my family, my local church leaders and a couple close friends I’m at peace with my decision to forego a mission for now and join the NBA. I don’t consider myself an exception to the rule. At this point in my life I know this is the right decision.
I want to follow in my father’s footsteps as a role model to youth, especially those kids who need the most help. My dad created the Sonny Parker Youth Foundation, which has helped countless boys — including me — develop into manhood and stay out of trouble.
I realize how much of a privilege and an honor it is to join the ranks of the NBA. I will do everything in my power to help deliver championships to the franchise that drafts me. At the same time, I recognize the obligation to represent the league in an admirable way off the court.
Up to this point I haven’t given any thought to agents. But now that I’ve declared, I will turn my attention to the process of choosing someone to represent me. Money was not a factor in my decision to go pro. It won’t be a factor in my choice of an agent. My number one criterion in choosing a college coach was an impeccable reputation for integrity. I’m looking for the same thing in an agent.
This past year at Duke has been a cherished chapter in my life. I’m very fortunate to have worn the blue and white. And I will always carry with me the memories of playing in front of the Crazies at Cameron. Now it’s time to write the next chapter. I can’t wait to get started.
It was a win-win for the young man regardless of what he decided to do. Paker is projected to be one of the top picks in the draft this year.
Parker averaged 19.1 points per game and 8.9 rebounds during his one season in Durham.