I wanted to post this excerpt from the most recent Sports Illustrated article.
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.
I know some people will say this is unrealistic. Others will say, why bother? The fact is that I have many interests beyond basketball. I’d like to write a children’s book. I am interested in various business aspects of the entertainment industry. And I’d like to work with corporate America in one way or another. A college degree from Duke will help with each of these aspirations.
I’ve had to make one other major decision recently. It is well known that I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where it is common — even expected — to serve a two-year mission at age 19. I just turned 19. And I come from a family with a legacy of missionary service. My mother, Lola, served a mission before she married my father. My older brother, Christian, recently completed a mission in Atlanta. And although my father is not a Mormon, he attends church with our family every Sunday and he has made it clear that he would fully support me if I chose to go on a mission.
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.