ESPN analyst says a Mormon mission 'isn't out of the question' for Jabari Parker


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    Jan. 13, 2014 5:53 p.m.

    MrPlate, sorry I didn't read bjhp's comment first, I understand where you're coming from a little better now. I still stand by my comment, though, that I agree with how the NBA runs its rookie eligibility requirements. It creates a situation where kids are strongly encouraged to get at least some education and maturity, but still allows them to enter the draft young enough for the possibility for a lot of playing years ahead of them.

  • MrPlate Lindon, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    @joe5 - if someone with mad skills wanted one of those jobs from Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, and it was apparent that person represented superior talent and abilities in comparison to the applicant with a college education, I'm guessing they would overlook the degree requirement to have the best talent. That's a no-brainer, unless U.S. regulations required the education for some reason.

    I've acknowledged that a college education and collegiate athletic experience is the superior route of preparation for almost every pro wannabe. You have not shown how a college education is a necessary requirement in all cases for playing basketball.

    Some arguments are weak contradictions. To think top businessmen would pass over world-class talent over an education technicality is nothing more than silliness.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 2:11 p.m.

    I don't have a dog in this fight. Whatever requirements are set by the NBA are fine with me. It's their business and they can run it however they want. But some arguments just beg for contradiction.

    The company Bill Gates owns requires you to have a college degree to fill certain jobs such as technical and management positions. Same with the company owned by Steve Jobs. Using Bill Gates or Steve Jobs in this argument is nothing more than silliness.

  • MrPlate Lindon, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    @StGtoSLC - I believe in free market capitalism. The NBA can set whatever requirements they want. I don't see the point in requiring anything other than basketball-related skills, physical fitness, and good citizenship, but they can run their business however they want.

    If a great basketball player doesn't attend college, should he be prohibited from playing NBA ball at age 20? 25? 30? 40? Remember I was originally responding to bj-hp. How is a college education necessarily connected to an ability to contribute in the NBA, and why should it be required?

    Also, I said nothing about the training ground of college athletics, overseas experience, or whatever strategy one might use to prepare for a professional basketball career. Why couldn't someone hire Karl Malone as a tutor until he's ready? Probably a poor strategy, but if it worked for someone, why required a college degree? In a free country, an ill-prepared athlete should be able to market his talents any time he chooses, and suffer the consequences of poor preparation. It's probably a very good idea for nearly every player to earn a degree and hone athletic skills through collegiate competition. Why should it be required?

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    Jan. 13, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    Since I first heard his name a little more than a year ago. I predicted Jabari would go on a mission. A top high school prospect who was attending early morning seminary. That tell tale sign was an indicator he was putting the lord ahead of his college choice. This year, from another article he's attending the Seminary Institute near Duke when he's able too. I'am thinking he's putting the lord before an NBA contract. Jabari appears to be a man of the lord, and not of the world. I still think he goes on a mission. However, if he has the same conversations with LDS leaders that Steve Young had, and a few other top LDS athletes. He could be advised his mission in life to serve the lord is by staying in the spotlight by going to the NBA.

    Jan. 12, 2014 10:44 p.m.

    MrPlate, pro players aren't starting their own business by playing basketball. Just like companies have requirements on their employees' age, necessary education, experience, etc., the NBA has the prerogative to set similar requirements. As it stands, attending college isn't required by the NBA, but the age and necessary time out of high school requirements certainly don't discourage it. A large part of this is an attempt to help their own image by having more emotionally mature and stable players that have a better chance at lasting in their career. Prior professional playing experience overseas and/or some college education with a structured team environment are good proving grounds and a way to mature and develop. It doesn't work for everyone, obviously, but I think it does a decent job of weeding out a larger portion of busts and unprepared players than the prior rules allowing any high school player to go directly into the NBA.

  • Down under Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2014 8:57 p.m.

    CB's irrational logic comparing Jimmer to Haws is so far off base I don't know where to even start. But let me just throw this out. If Haws continue to be the best player and leading scorer in the state he will pass Jimmer on the scoring leaders list at BYU. There is something for CB to chew on while he is coming up with his next irrational thought.

  • MrPlate Lindon, UT
    Jan. 12, 2014 6:24 p.m.

    @bj-hp - why should basketball players have to attend college before they play in the NBA? Should Bill Gates be allowed to start a business before attending college? Should Mark Zuckerberg have been required to finish college before starting Facebook? Should Peter Jennings have been prohibited from anchoring the news because he did not attend college? Should Hollywood give anyone a role who has not finished college?

    What obligation does anyone have to enrich an institution of higher education and the NCAA before marketing their God-given, hard-earned skills in a free country? Sounds like indentured servitude to me. Going to college may be a great idea, but in a free country, why should it be required to play sports?

  • Ghost Writer GILBERT, AZ
    Jan. 11, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    @AL -- Thanks for providing me an idea for what I will pray for next time I give family prayer :-)

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Jan. 11, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    Chris B many years ago there was a young man in New Zealand that had the greatest opportunity to be one of the great rugby players of all time. He was projected to go to one of the most prestigious teams in rugby. Many felt that giving up this opportunity to go on a mission would cost him his projection. He went on the mission anyway and came back that did include a very prestigious career in ruby being one of the greatest to ever play the game.

    Going on a mission will never harm you if you have the talent and the ability to go to the next level. In my opinion no player should be allowed in the NBA to play until they have completed college. This means Lebron James would have had to go to college before entering the NBA. Yes, he is a great basketball player but what happens if tomorrow he suffers a career ending injury. No college, nothing but sports, he ends up where most others end up. Back where they started. No a mission is good, a college better and best for the individual. It isn't up to anyone but Jabari.

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    Chris B. : I don't know how much knowledge you have about missions but I do see you posts and comments about BYU sports and Mormons and it seems you have nothing positive to say and are always wanting to degrade or criticize. Whether it is J. Parker or any other athlete deciding or thinking of going on a mission , it isn't about the sport or even him physically or his ability to play after his mission, it is about the mission and the positive impact it can and would have on his life and the life of those he would find and work with while on his mission. Going on a mission can be tough on a kid physically but like Hawes or Collie if you are smart and use the time given you as a missionary you can keep in OK shape, not good or great but good enough to be OK when they get home. I don't really think Parker will go on a mission but I hope he does, it would be a great thing for him personally for his future.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Jan. 11, 2014 6:16 a.m.

    Whether Parker goes on a mission or not is his choice and his alone. That's between him and his God, and whatever that choice may be will not make him any less of what he already is...a great kid with a lot of class and talents. God will still love him whether he goes or not.

  • localblue Sandy, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 1:05 a.m.

    I wish people would stop giving him advice about what to do. I can't imagine anything more hypocritical than telling somebody about what to do about something so personal. It's on the level of bragging about how humble one is. Yes, there are people in place to give him proper advice. But I'm guessing not a single person who posts here is one of them. Let's let these young guys make their own decisions and support them for the positive they do. We only see a tiny fraction, and I mean really tiny fraction, of their lives and have no idea about all the factors they have to consider in making the decision. I for one know I would hate to be making a decision about a mission under a microscope. Even though I was at BYU, I wasn't sure until the last minute whether I would go. And it would not have helped at all to have a whole bunch of people in social media who do not know me telling me what to do.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 5:28 p.m.

    There's a sneaky benefit to drafting Parker and sending him out on a mission. If you're a lousy team (which you are if you're drafting him assuming going on a mission doesn't make him tumble down the draft board) then having him gone for two years lets you stay awful and get another 1-2 really high draft picks the following years.

    Jan. 10, 2014 5:21 p.m.


    BYU fan, let's hold off trying to make fun of the Utes. Please keep this discussion on Parker, a gifted LDS athlete, and keep the banter between Utah and BYU out of it.

  • Man in Charge Chihuahua, 00
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:03 p.m.

    He will never go to a second rate basketball program like BYU. if he wanted to go to BYU so badly, he would've committed to them last year. Dave Rose is no Mike Kryschevski. Not by a long shot.

  • Man in Charge Chihuahua, 00
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    I hope the Jazz still draft him even though he may go on a mission.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:55 p.m.


    To say that Haws is good and therefore missions don't affect playing skills is far from rational logic. How do you know Haws wouldn't have been better had he not served? Based on your logic I could say "Jimmer was good and that's because he didn't go on a mission"

    Tell me whether more or less of the best Mormon kids playing sports went on missions.

    Go look at all the Mormon guys playing NFL, NBA, MLB and tell me how many went on a full 2 year mission. For every 1 you give me, I'll give you 2 Mormon guys that didn't go on a 2 year mission and are in the big leagues.

  • Wingnut1 USA, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    While I don't necessarily believe that Jabari will go on a mission, I definitely think that he should go. Missions don't affect playing skills. Just look to Tyler Haws as an example. The blessings of going on a mission are innumerable (I have had 7 siblings serve) and it is a commandment from the Lord that every able bodied young man should serve a mission. Jabary is such a strong member, he would make a stellar missionary! I hope for the best for him either way!

  • Al Vernal, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    What we are really praying for is for Jabari to go on a mission, then while on a mission decide to go to BYU. Then he can come back and play with Mika, Emery, Haws etc. and win a national championship... and THEN play for the Jazz.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    He could also transfer to BYU after his mission, and help them win a national championship.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    He would get drafted better if he went to the Utes because we are pretegous but he didn't so he won't be number 1 in the nba draft now because of it.

    Go Utes!

  • Cougar Blue 1 Henderson , NV
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    Wilbon is hilarious! Yes, we are praying for a "black Mormon" to go to the Jazz. However, not for his faith, but because of his skills. The fact that he is LDS and a good representation of the church is a bonus. I would wait two years in a heart beat for him.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    Like I said before it is possible he could go on a mission but come back for another year of college bb but never inmagine GM would draft him now and then wait. It is up to Jabari and up stairs what he wants to do. Shawn Bradley was not ready to play nba but I think the 76ers didn't have the patient on Shawn the Mission Impossible.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    My recommendation would be to not go on a mission. Everyone can decide what is best for them and most likely the best decision for him would be to go land a big NBA contract. If that's his dream, a mission wont help that - he's already as high as he possibly could be going into the NBA draft. A mission could only hurt that, no upside.

    My guess is he wont go on a mission either.