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.
BENEDICT: Parker is the best high school basketball player since LeBron James
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.
Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-basketball/news/20140417/jabari-parker-declares-for-nba-draft/#ixzz2zHAC6qj4
good for him for having made a decision, regardless of whether I agree with the decision. I would rather have someone go on a mission later in life (or not at all) than have them in the field for any other reason than that they decided to go. Its hard to turn down millions of dollars for any reason, but to go on a mission, he better be going because he truly desires to be on the mission, else he will have bad days where he will only think about all the money that he turned down. This would just poison the work for him and those around him. that is not to say that I don’t want him to go, I just want missionaries who ‘want’ to be out.
On a related aside, I had a close friend (non-member) that had a member boyfriend. The boyfriend had no desire to go on a mission but felt that he the only way to get out of going was to become unworthy. Seriously, he felt that no-one would support a decision to not go. He felt so strongly, that he tried to convince his non-member girlfriend to get pregnant (well, and start having sex) in order to get out of going on a mission.
I expect my boys to go on a mission. I behave as if they will go on a mission. But they will also know that it must be their decision to go or not.