Jabari Parker, a 17-year old junior in Chicago has been touted as the next LeBron James. Â Sports Illustrated has him on their cover, and has discussed his choice to serve a mission, as well as other high-profile athletes that have/have not served missions. Â Jabari says there is more to his life than basketball: his faith is very important to him.
Notable Athletes who Served a mission
- Shawn Bradley -12 year NBA Career
- Chad Lewis – 9 year NFL Career
Notable Athletes who did not serve
- Steve Young – NFL Hall of Famer
- Danny Ainge – NBA great
- Jimmer Fredette – rookie with Sacramento Kings
Judging from the two lists, athletes who did not serve have had better pro careers. Â Do you have any advice for Jabari?
My advice: Don’t waste your life on an institutional LDS mission.
John, Of course there are many LDS who disagree with that viewpoint. Serving a mission did not seem to hurt the professional careers of the athletes MH has named. But ultimately it is the young man’s decision.
A mission would be great for him if he decides to go, or he can reach a lot of people as a basketball player by the way he lives his life.
A mission would be wonderful thing to do. It changed my life and the lives of many others- all for the better. Glad to see the kid so dedicated to the gospel.
John, so good to see you. I see you practice what you preach! A question for you: if Jabari were to serve a mission for the RLDS Church, would you support that?
One other thing, I’m working on a transcript from your interview with John Dehlin! It should be up within a week or so, so stay tuned.
Glenn, In the SI article, Shawn Bradley said a mission had positives and negatives, and feels the mission did hurt his basketball skills, but also helped his maturity.
I think a mission was wonderful for me, but I think that Jabari should decide with the Lord if it is right for him. Steve Young, Danny Ainge, and Jimmer Fredette all chose not to go, and they all feel the decision was right for them. Who am I to second-guess?
This whole thing about athletes serving or not serving a mission is so odd. Hundreds of young men every day are opting out of serving missions. Very little is ever said about them other than some flak in their own wards/families. I don’t care what your profession/schooling/work is, it is a choice everyone makes. I was a promising worker just out of trade school, no one wigged out about my choices, I did serve and glad I did. Slowed my career some but in the end I got more training and off I went to work. Why does it matter if your a promicing athlete, student, plumber, etc. The impact is the same for everyone. The whole First Presidency didn’t serve as well as other GAs. I don’t hear people talking about that. Their situation was due to wars/draft/age, etc but older men (single or married) could serve missions up until the mid 1950s. If you are selected for one of the service acadamies you’re not allowed to break up your schooling to serve a mission. They advice you to wait, serve and then attend the acadamy. Everyone has choices and the call is that all worthy males should serve. Even some whom may have limitations can serve missions (service types). So bottom line serve or not to serve is a choice everyone has to make.
[…] historian. Â Born and raised LDS, he graduated from BYU (though he did not serve a mission, and doesn’t encourage missions.) Â He has a graduate degree from the University of Michigan. Â At the time of this interview, he […]
The two years on your mission will do more for you than 20 years in the nba. Keep ur eye on a mission.
That is the most utterly ridiculous statement I have ever heard. No offense, but you clearly do not understand what 20 years in the NBA (although more likely 12-16) will bring a man. With Jabari’s great family background, the the amount of money he will earn can be used to help spread the word of Mormonism (although it is odd to promote a religion that is not true) and to give to various charities. Going on a mission was very traumatic for most of my mormon friends, and although they were happy in the end, it was certainly not worth going. Going on a mission is not for everyone, especially when a future like Jabari’s is one that few people in the world ever have the chance to fulfill.
Going on a mission also can lead to violence and harassment from those who would prefer not to see someone in a white shirt and black pants riding bicycles and pretending like their religion is actually real.
Jason, you are such a judgmental clown. Your first sentence set the tone for the rest of your comments which then did not come as a surprise. Your bracketed statement about promoting a religion that is not true just confirmed from where you are coming from. I still haven’t read what you wrote past that comment, and guess what, who really cares. If u wish to have people listen to your full argument, try to engage them by not being so prejudiced from the start. Just saying.
[…] historian. Â Born and raised LDS, he graduated from BYU (though he did not serve a mission, and doesn’t encourage missions.) Â He has a graduate degree from the University of Michigan. Â At the time of this interview, […]