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Duke phenom Jabari Parker has humble alter ego

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  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    AZguy, You'll have to forgive me, but I don't necessarily believe all the anecdotes about guys who were told not to go on missions. If there is one thing I've learned after a lifetime in the church, it's to be immediately skeptical when I hear a story that "one time a friend I know was told by a General Authority......"

    I also disagree with the suggestion by some that sports stars should do their missions through being in the spotlight. Why? I've never once heard that from a prophet. Also, why can't a kid go on a 2 year mission and then STILL do the "rest of my life has been a mission" thing. It's not an either/or thing.

    At the end of the day the counsel we should follow is what the prophet has said regarding all things in life, including missions.

  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    Great article about a great kid. As a BYU fan, I am bummed that he did not go to BYU. As a church member, I could not be happier that he is at Duke. At BYU, he would just be a great ball player. At Duke, he is that and because his lifestyle is unique, he is a great example and gets press like this.

    As for the mission, that is Jabari's call. There are exceptions to the mission rule, though few and far between. There are certain folks counseled not to go on missions. I had a friend who was at West Pointe. A GA told him if there is any chance he would not be readmitted after a mission, that he should forego a mission and stay in the military because he could have great influence there that would not be possible otherwise.

    As another friend once told me, I did no go on a mission, but the rest of my life has been a mission. I think Jabari would fit into that category along with Steve Young, Danny Ainge, Dale Murphy, Jimmer, Kresimir Cosic, and others.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    @Utesby5,

    "God expects the SAME from all of his children"

    Wait, I thought the color of shirt someone was wearing mattered, but now you're saying God expects the same?

    Ever heard "to whom much is given much is required"

    I think in a rivalry that is so dividing its just sad you felt the need to only call out BYU fans as if only byu fans have a responsibility. Again, if that's not your point, then why single out the byu fans and not include everyone? That the hypocritical behavior I have a hard time with.

    And why not say since Utah fans represent our state and byu fans don't that Utah fans have more responsibility to do what is right?

    Again, the hypocrisy.

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 10:41 p.m.

    Having served on LDS disciplinary courts, I can assure you the leadership of the church is very, very concerned about the impact of poor decisions on the reputation of the church. Penalties are definitely more severe for someone who represents himself as a church member while violating standards than for someone else who did the exact same thing privately with no impact on the reputation of the church.

    Extremely simpleminded to think it's different, or to think such judgment is inappropriate.

  • UtesBy5 Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 10:20 p.m.

    "God is going to expect a LOT more of the ute fan bishop than a new byu student wearing a byu hat."

    Why, because one is a leader in the LDS Church and the other is a nonmember? God expects the SAME from all of his children. Statements like that (Austin Collie comes to mind) are what makes nonmembers upset with us.

    You've strayed from the point I was making, which by the way, every BYU friend that I've discussed it with totally agree with me.

    All of God's children have an obligation to behave within their personal belief system. As a member of the LDS faith, I know how I should conduct myself regardless of what logo I wear, BUT, and back to my point, I also represent the logo I've chosen to wear. In the case of BYU, it's a logo representing the LDS Church. How is that so hard to understand?

    Over and out. No more comments from me on this subject.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 7:40 p.m.

    @Girlse State -

    "Or lets say there is a new student at byu who isn't a Mormon(yes, they exist) but are wearing a BYU hat. And say they're standing next to a Church Bishop(in a Ute shirt) who has been a member all their life. God is going to expect a LOT more of the ute fan bishop than a new byu student wearing a byu hat. At the end of the day the only opinion that matters is the one from above and I will never concede that God looks to see which color hat someone is wearing(sic) in judging someone."

    That's said very well.

  • Girlse State Midvale, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 6:09 p.m.

    DSB -

    "Poor conduct by a person in common, nondescript clothing reflects poorly ONLY on the individual"

    So if a person in the church, say they're a deacon, teacher, laurel, High priest, Elder, Bishop, Bishop's wife, Apostle, whatever does something wrong that will only reflect on the church if they do it while wearing a BYU or other LDS shirt? Sure about that pal?

    Or lets say there is a new student at byu who isn't a Mormon(yes, they exist) but are wearing a BYU hat. And say they're standing next to a Church Bishop(in a Ute shirt) who has been a member all their life. God is going to expect a LOT more of the ute fan bishop than a new byu student wearing a byu hat. At the end of the day the only opinion that matters is the one from above and I will never concede that God looks to see which color hat someone is judging someone.

  • Girlse State Midvale, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 5:56 p.m.

    DSB, So if its never been said that lack of identifying clothing relieves anyone's responsibility, why did Utesby5 only call out BYU fans? Was he/she somehow precluded from just including everyone? And if everyone has the responsibility to be kind, why the need to make some sort of connection between BYU fans their responsibility if ALL people have a responsibility?

    If anything is a moot point, its arguing "more or less responsibility" as if that impacts anything. Does everyone have the responsibility to be kind? If so, why need to go through some shallow and self righteous finger pointing at BYU fans. Let me guess, Ute fans somehow have to wait until all BYU fans are perfect because attention can be given to them, that's why there was a need to call out BYU fans as opposed to anyone on these boards who is unkind?

    Spin all you want, Utesby5 deflected responsibility to BYU fans byu fans only as opposed to everyone because of the color of shirt they wear. Way to reach for the stars there!

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 5:01 p.m.

    @Girlse State - thanks so much for the clarification, because UtesBy5 and I would never understand less/more right and wrong without those explanations from you and the others. The poor and ridiculous point is that wearing clothing that identifies you as belonging to any particular group does not increase your responsibility to act in a manner that represents well the group with which you are affiliated. No one, not UB5, not me, not anyone else ever said at any time on this thread that lack of such identifying clothing relieves anyone of acting like a decent human being. So pretending you're smarter or more ethical by pointing out the obvious about more/less right and wrong is the moot and poor point to be making.

    Poor conduct by a person in common, nondescript clothing reflects poorly ONLY on the individual. The same conduct in BYU attire reflects poorly on the individual and on BYU, and on Mormons, and even on people from Utah. It is MORE wrong to negatively reflect on all those entities than just on yourself as an individual. If you think there's no difference, then peace out, because there's nothing else to debate.

  • Girlse State Midvale, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    DSB, I don't think there has been any misunderstanding by anyone. Utesby5's point is clear, its just a poor point. I'm LDS but don't care too much for any of the local schools. While I certainly hope someone wearing BYU clothes would act as they should as Utesby5 is saying, I disagree with the premise(in support of SportsAreGreat and Ken) that the color of football team one supports can make an action "less wrong" or "more wrong" Right and wrong is not relative to the color scheme of ones clothing.

    As utesby5 already acknowledged, in addition to a significant portion of Utah fans being Mormons, those of us who have lived outside of Utah know Utah = Mormons so yes Utah fans represent the LDS Church whether they want to or not. And they also represent the state of Utah, something that BYU doesn't do right? So who's to say that Utah doesn't have "more responsibility" being that they represent our state?

  • UtesBy5 Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 3:39 p.m.

    Thanks DSB for your comments.

    Sports Are Great and Ken, show me where I said that as a Utah fan that is LDS, I don't have the obligation to act like a member of the LDS faith. Let me save you some time, I didn't.

    I won't go any further in this discussion as you both understand what I am saying. Any person that wears a logo on a clothing item takes the additional responsibility to represent that organization wisely because their actions could hurt the organization they are representing with their attire. When it is a faith based organization, to me, it brings an additional responsibility knowing people, members and nonmembers, are watching the person "advertise" that they represent that organization in some way.

    Again, thank you DSB for your remarks.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 2:48 p.m.

    I wonder if Ken, Sports Are Great, et al are really so impervious to UtesBy5's obvious message. Methinks the misunderstanding is intentional, purely for the sake of sanctimonious argument. Clearly you all believe all people should conduct themselves with respect and dignity. Doesn't that responsibility increase when one joins a religious organization? Of course! Doesn't that responsibility increase further when one dons the outward symbols of that religious organization for the entire world to see? Of course! Otherwise, what's the point of uniformity of missionary attire?

    If you're down in Alabama and want to pull something stupid, shame on you whether you're Mormon or not. Shame on you even more if you're doing it with a Utah shirt on, for now you've not only brought shame upon yourself, but upon the state as well, and by association, possibly Mormons. Additional shame on you if you're wearing a BYU shirt, for now you've brought shame on the religion for sure.

    I think it's highly naive to think you don't bear added responsibility for good conduct when explicitly representing your religious organization, and that's clearly all UtesBy5 is saying.

  • Aloha Saint George Saint George, Utah
    Jan. 30, 2014 2:21 p.m.

    Jabari would have a much harder time living here in BYU or Utah compared to Duke. They have a rich tradition of winning national championships and many that go to the NBA. Jabari would be a superstar at BYU or Utah and news media would be all over him as well as the kids. At Duke he blends in with all the other superstars. That's the point of going there. Being a Mormon is part of it too. He seems like a great person and student- he's definitely a student athlete and an example of his faith. Jabari has the bast chance of being his real self at Duke.
    I love watching this kid. It's even better seeing what he's like behind the basketball.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Jan. 30, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    When I'm called as the Church Czar of Mind Your Own Doggone Business, I will issue a prolomation commanding . . err, strongly suggesting that members keep their opinions about the mission plans of other people's children to themselves.

    Speculating about "how much good he could do" whether at Duke, or in the NBA, or passing out Books of Mormon in Bolivia, is just random guesses. We have no idea. Jabari can go, stay, stay and then go, go when he's 55 . . why would he care what I think? I am not asking him, or any of you, how to perform my churchly duties.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    UtesBy5,

    "Again, my point is wearing "Brigham Young University" on a shirt, hat, etc. SHOULD prompt the person wearing it to realize they are representing the LDS faith"

    How about this one: Being a member of the church SHOULD prompt the person to realize they are representing the LDS faith" Its just laughable(in a very sad way) you think hat color somehow plays into this very simple concept.

    Have you ever heard the concept of one's true character is how one acts when no one is watching? Same idea here. Doing what is right or wrong has nothing to do with what someone else sees or what that other person concludes as to your religious connection. I'm quite certain no Church leader would say his responsibility decreases by taking off the blue shirt and putting a red one on. He/We have 100% responsibility to do what is right with a blue, red, purple, white, or pink shirt on.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    Utesby5, By saying wearing a BYU shirt gives "extra responsibility" minimizes your/our responsibility to do what is right. And that is what I, even being a Ute fan, take exception with. Being a member of the church, you and I represent the church 24/7/365. There is never a time my responsibility to do what is right decreases. And to suggest that when I put my Utah shirts on and walk side by side with my BYU friends God expects less of me could not be more wrong. And FYI, my many Utah fan friends and family agree we represent the Church 24/7/365 and that any suggestion that simply picking up a Utah shirt instead of a BYU one lessens what God expects would be pathetically sorry.

  • UtesBy5 Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    @Ken,

    Maybe my posts aren't representing what I'm trying to say. I agree with your entire post. I am proud to wear crimson and white and I go out of my way to make opposing team's fans feel comfortable in our stadium. I positively want every Utah fan to be classy as they represent the University of Utah. I have my own personal and religious standards that I always try to uphold.

    Again, my point is wearing "Brigham Young University" on a shirt, hat, etc. SHOULD prompt the person wearing it to realize they are representing the LDS faith. Most do. Wearing "Utah Utes" attire doesn't say "I'm a Mormon like "BYU Cougars" does. While a nonmember would likely think the Utes fan is a Mormon because they are from Utah, 60/40 chance, they would assume the BYU fan was LDS.

    Anyway, back to Parker, he's certainly a great young man and I'm sure he will make the best decision for his life.

  • UtesBy5 Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    @Sports Are Great,

    Yes, I'm very aware that many people outside of Utah associate anyone from Utah with Mormonism. My work has taken me to all 50 states and I'm always aware that eyes are watching my actions and conduct.

    You aren't getting my point. I didn't ever say it's okay to belittle anyone regardless of what school you cheer for. I do however believe that church school fan bases have that extra responsibility to represent their faith as they represent their school's athletics. Notre Dame is associated with the Catholic Church and BYU is associated with the LDS Church. Utah is a state school and although approximately 57% of the students are LDS, it isn't a LDS institution. If you don't agree wearing a BYU shirt or hat and/or posting comments as a BYU fan gives you an extra responsibility of setting the proper LDS example then this conversation is going nowhere. FYI, my many BYU friends agree they have the extra responsibility to represent the Church when they wear the blue and white of BYU.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    UtesBy5, I am a Utah fan and Church member but I side with "Sports Are Great" on this one. I cringe a little bit when I read your statements that deflect responsibility to do what is right on BYU fans. The University of Utah is a great university and a great asset to our community. There are great students, faculty, and alum. We have a lot to be proud of. Not being a religiously affiliated or owned university doesn't change what I expect of myself and other Utah fans. Should we not be Christ-like just like BYU fans should be? Even for non-religious people at our university, I expect everyone to have good morals and treat others in such a way that it reflects well on our university. Besides, you and I represent our shared church every bit as much as any BYU fan.

    We can do better than using the lack of direct religious connection as an excuse for pointing the finger at others but not ourselves. I expect my Ute fan friends to be kind and good people regardless of religious preferences. We can and should all have the same high standards in kindness

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    @Utesby5:

    "I'm saying that the BYU fans have an added obligation. They aren't just fans of the university's athletic programs, they also represent the LDS faith"

    So by your affiliation to the University of Utah you don't represent the LDS faith even though you are a member of the LDS faith? So your "reasoning" is this:
    LDS member BYU fan: represents the LDS church
    LDS member Utah fan: doesn't represent the LDS church

    I'm shocked and saddened if you really believe this.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    @Utesby5, So as long as someone is cheering for the red its more ok for them to belittle other? And maybe you weren't aware, but people outside of Utah often associate Mormons with anything related to Utah, that would include the University of Utah. I've lived in many places and people absolutely connect the University of Utah to Mormons, just as they do other things in Utah. And yes, you'd better believe that Mormon Utes represent Mormons.

    Its just sad when someone thinks that by cheering for the team in red their bad behavior isn't' as bad. Being a good person has nothing to do with Mormon or non-Mormon. The values that LDS people should uphold are the same values everyone should uphold. Or are you saying that the University of Utah has no values to uphold and belittling others is ok according to the tenets of that school?

    Its truly pathetic if someone really thinks its more acceptable for a guy wearing a red shirt to belittle a guy in a blue shirt because the guy in red cheers for the red.

  • UtesBy5 Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 2:51 a.m.

    @Sports Are Great:

    "@Utesby5 - What does member/non-member have to do with belittling? Certainly you don't believe that by cheering for the team in red that would somehow excuse poor behavior such as belittling do you? So if someone wants to belittle another all they have to do is cheer for the team in red and that somehow makes it less bad? Come on man."

    I'm saying that the BYU fans have an added obligation. They aren't just fans of the university's athletic programs, they also represent the LDS faith. Poor sportsmanship and negative posts can influence how a nonmember views our Church and it's members.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 29, 2014 9:44 p.m.

    News flash.... this isn't about BYU or U of U. And rightfully said above, his decision to go on a mission or not is his to make, in consult with his leaders, whom I know and I am sure will give him sound advice.

    My son is on a mission in a country that is in the news a lot today. I can tell you beyond a shadow of doubt Jabari's example is touching hundreds or if not thousands more per day, than my son on a traditional mission is able to do. There are far more ways to reach out and share than wearing a white shirt, name badge and knocking on doors. You need to ask your self is it about the method, or the end result that is more important. He is a unique kid, with a unique story, that has a whole lot of people watching him, do the right thing in the right way, when many of his peers are choosing other paths.

    So lets get off his back, and see the real good he is doing - rather than nit picking decisions that aren't ours to make.

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    I always kind of felt like Parker was a bit overwhelmed by the response he got when he made his campus visit to BYU last year. People- especially students-- had good intentions but I can't imagine how that came across to a kid with his head on straight just wanting to blend in and be a student off court. Can't say I blame him for wanting to avoid that. Look forward to following his career. Kid's got amazing talent and a great attitude.

  • IDSpud Eagle, ID
    Jan. 29, 2014 5:50 p.m.

    @UtesBy5. I'll take a long shot guess and suggest Chris B may have been referring to BYU and the "high school-like" gyms and teams that make up the WCC. So, in a way he did take a jab at BYU.

  • Oregonian Sherwood, OR
    Jan. 29, 2014 5:48 p.m.

    Chris B-

    Since the article isn't based on his basketball skills, maybe the question you should ask is, "Can you imagine this kid playing at a school that is an academic and cultural vacuum?"

  • 2020 Herriman, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 5:42 p.m.

    @ Chris B
    Way too much thought. I went on a mission and I am still trying to be a missionary here at home. However, I will never be able to reach as many people as Jabari, whether he goes on a mission or not.

    The gospel is a very personal thing, and there are very few things in the church that all members must do. That is really just the perception because of the abstinence of alcohol, coffee, tea and tobacco. Serving a mission is another one of those things that every member would be blessed for doing, but it may not be for everyone. I know a woman who was told by a high ranking church official that she will have a career instead of being a stay at home mom. She is a doctor now.

  • golfrUte SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 5:41 p.m.

    @ Chris B

    Give it a rest. The article is about Parker, not about BYU and the West Coast Conference gyms. As a Ute fan, I can honestly say I find most of your posts rather annoying and immature.

    I enjoyed reading more about Parker and the kind of person he is off court. He sounds like he's got a level head and will be successful on and off the court.

    Go Utes!!

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 5:08 p.m.

    @Utesby5 - What does member/non-member have to do with belittling? Certainly you don't believe that by cheering for the team in red that would somehow excuse poor behavior such as belittling do you? So if someone wants to belittle another all they have to do is cheer for the team in red and that somehow makes it less bad? Come on man.

  • UtesBy5 Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 4:48 p.m.

    @daviscoug:

    I reread Chris B's post and I can't understand your comment to him. He did NOT mention BYU. He did NOT say Jabari wasn't an exceptional young man. He, as a non-member of the LDS faith simply asked a question.

    Chris, there isn't a "threshold of fame" to determine if one should serve a mission or represent the Church based on their high level exposure. Missions are up to the individual and Jabari will not be encouraged to play basketball rather than serve a mission. Again, it is totally Jabari's decision.

    You do bring up a good question and point because a sharp, well known, high exposure individual representing any organization can bring that organization positive exposure.

    Question for BYU fans posting on Deseret News articles, is it okay to constantly belittle a non-member fan of a rival team?

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    Jan. 29, 2014 4:44 p.m.

    @Daviscoug Chris B never mentioned BYU in either of his comments. He simply asked a question about missionary work and mentioned that the ACC was a power conference.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    Jan. 29, 2014 4:42 p.m.

    "The ability to keep a low profile on campus, Parker says, was part of Duke’s appeal, part of the reason he’s here instead of the other schools that recruited him." Duke is a great school that gets tons of star recruits. That is the benefit of playing in a big boy conference against high ranked competition. Schools like that know how to treat their star players.

  • daviscoug Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 3:35 p.m.

    ChrisB: Leave BYU out of this. This is a great article about an exceptional young man. A young man who seems to have his priorities right, unlike some we could mention. I wish him continued success on and off the court.

  • sg newhall, CA
    Jan. 29, 2014 3:28 p.m.

    I am amazed that the topic of him going on a mission was even brought up. Why? What business is it of ours or anyone to go there? If he goes, great. If he doesn't great. The impact he is having now might be greater than the impact of actually serving a two-year mission. A 'mission' isn't always defined as one wearing a badge and wearing a white shirt. This type of scrutiny reminds me of people in a ward who constantly badger a young couple with the question: "So, when are you going to have kids?" Frankly, it is none of our business. The same can be said about Jabari and a mission. It is none of our business.

  • ex patria cougar Australia, 00
    Jan. 29, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    It would be tough not to be proud of your humility, especially with articles such as this one praising you for your humbleness.

    Good luck Jabari. You seem like a great kid.

  • InterestedObserver Provo, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 3:18 p.m.

    There is Missionary Work and then there is Missionary Work. The 2-yr version is far more difficult and far more character building. 2-Yr's of beating the streets and softening heart is very difficult and not completed by all.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    2020 -

    I've always found that "reasoning" interesting. Couldn't the same be said about anyone, meaning if any person chooses to stay home and work and go to school they would be able to do missionary work at home/school that they wouldn't have been able to do on a Mormon mission right? Now, any random person wouldn't have the same level of publicity to be sure, but isn't the concept the same for anyone?

    I'm not LDS, but I'm familiar enough with LDS doctrine and what Mormon leaders have said to know that several Mormon prophets have said every man who can go on a mission should. So I think its interesting when people bring up the "he can do his mission here" because can't anyone do that?

    What if Jabari were just a solid player instead of amazing, would you say the same thing as far as him being able to do his mission in college? Is there a certain threshold of fame that one must pass before they can justify they do the mission at home thing?

    Again - just curious the Mormon rules.

    thanks

  • 2020 Herriman, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    Clearly Jabari couldn't go wrong by going on a mission. However, he is in a position to be able to do lots of missionary work, just by continuing to build and strengthen his own testimony as a high profile athlete.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 2:23 p.m.

    Can you imagine this kid playing in high school gyms against high school teams instead of the talent he goes up against in the ACC?

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    As much as I would have loved to have had Jabari help BYU, his influence at Duke is far greater. I'm sure he'll be prayerful in deciding on whether or not he should serve a mission, but... I hope he serves just because of the great good he could do. But, that's none of my business. Good article about a great young man and his great parents.