Comments about ‘Jeff Benedict: Jabari Parker announces decision to turn pro in first-person essay for SI.com’

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Published: Thursday, April 17 2014 10:40 a.m. MDT

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Good young man with his head on straight. The future is bright for Jabari. I wish him all the success in the world.

South Jordan, UT

When the spot light shines and the money gets thrown around, just about everything else becomes much lower priority.
Hope he makes it past the the 4.8 years of a NBA player and isn't broke within two years after that.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I predicted just yesterday that Jabari would take until the last day to decide and then he probably wouldn't enter the draft. It was nice of him to take the time to write a 1,300 word essay for SI saying I was completely wrong. Thanks Kabari, you're the best! The least you can do is hope you end up in a Utah Jazz uniform. :-)

Challenge to the Foe
Fargo, ND

It would have been more ideal if he would have chosen to serve the Lord first, and then to resume his basketball career either in college or the pros. I wish Jabari the best of luck, and hope he is blessed with a long and prosperous career in the NBA.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

Tough situation for this kid, even mentioned by the President of the LDS Church in his conference talk a few weeks ago. I really think that he was aimed at the NBA right from the beginning. BYU was not an option for him because I'm sure he worried about leaving after just one year; attending somewhere like Duke makes that much easier.

Best of luck to him, he'll make a lot of money and be a top player in the league. And as long as he stays a good example to kids then he'll be doing good missionary work.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

I hope Jabari stays focused and accomplishes all those goals. He certainly can earn his degree while playing, but each year that he earns more and more money in the NBA will make that harder to stick with. He also will forever miss out on the opportunity to fulfill his priesthood duty to serve a full time mission for the Lord. Nothing he does in the NBA or anywhere else can take the place of that. That being said, he certainly is a fine young man who will do a lot of good in the world. I wish him the best.

Cedar Hills, UT

this is THE main reason I dislike the NBA. No other major league sport has so many barley-out- of-high school kids playing in it. Really watered down league anymore. College basketball is suffering as a result.

Saint George, UT


Go check out a minor league baseball game and see how many were drafted straight out of high school with big dreams but will never make the kind of money Jabari will make year one.

no comment
New Orleans, LA


By not serving a mission, you are missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for personal growth. But the church will be just fine without you serving a mission.

When I was on my mission in Brazil, I heard that one of the true stars of the Brazilian National Soccer team, Tita, had submitted mission papers, only to be rejected by the first presidency, along with an explanation of how he could serve by playing soccer.

A few months later, while playing basketball with ward members, two young men asked if they could play basketball with us. They said that they saw Tita say on TV that visitors were welcome anytime at our church, and wanted to know if that applied to basketball as well.

15 years later I read in the Church News that one of those guys was now a councilor in the stake presidency.

How many other missionaries in Brazil had similar experiences because of Tita using his position to preach the gospel?

My advice to you: be the best basketball player that you can, and be the best member-missionary that you can. In your case, the two go hand-in-hand.

Eagle Mountain, UT

Hope the Jazz get him, but I know that is a long shot. I will cheer for him wherever he goes, but if the Lakers somehow get him I will cheer for him to do well, but hope the Lakers will be bad for years to come.

sandy, ut

I can't believe all the people on here saying what decision he should have made... and that he should serve a mission instead. He is quite capable of making his own decisions regarding his own life. I don't think he told any of you whether or not you should serve missions. It is nobody's business but his. Lets keep it that way.

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

Very nice essay he wrote. It covered everything and demonstrated that he has considered well his options -- all his options. And he has made his decision. I was one commenting in many places that he should serve a mission and then finish three years at Duke. I'll eat those words; all of them. There is a spirit to his essay, though not in the Ensign but rather Sports Illustrated, that says this is a great decision -- one that the Lord will support and put to His purposes. So best of everything to Jabari -- success at the next level and continued progress in new vistas that Duke opened to his life.

Jazz Source
Alpine, UT

Easy to say he should have served a mission.

I don't see a lot of consideration of the fact that this kid being LDS and a top draft pick and potential star on an NBA team may make MORE people aware of his LDS beliefs/investigating the church vs him serving a mission knocking doors.

Millions of people could get increased exposure to the gospel as a result of his possible star success in the NBA. Undoubtedly there will be alot of press about his beliefs and religion if he achieves upper tier stardom in the NBA.

Think BIG missionary impact.

Wish him all the success in the world.

salt lake city, UT

It's hard enough to be black and be a member in the church. Now it seems certain members indicate it may be even harder if they decide not to serve a mission. The Lord does not base a persons worth on their race, gender, sexuality, athletic ability, or missionary work. It's based upon one's dedication to love God and his fellow man with prejudice.

Rexburg, ID

There is more to life than a mission, and more way to serve than putting on a suit knocking doors for two years. Kudos to him for choosing his own path.

Salt Lake City, UT

Serving a mission would be irrational andd a big distraction. He will have a much greater influence as an NBA athlete and will be taking care of his family first. Get real people.

Fruit Heights, UT

Good luck Mr. Parker.
How long has it been since Mr. Parker and Mr. Benedict have attended church? They might want to update their article - the minimum age for male missionaries has been changed to 18.

Murray, UT

So many people here hitting the mission, drum beat. I served a mission and it was exceedingly a momentous time in my life. However my entire life has not been defined ONLY by that one experience. Thousands of Latter-Day Saints do not serve a mission, yes we have been counseled to do so but this is our agency to choose. This young man has dealt with success and been under a microscope in a way that does his beliefs proud. Yet because he is LDS do WE reserve the right to be his judge? No. Play on Mr. Parker, until you show yourself to be other than what you are, (and it's not my business really if you do) then I will continue to watch your career with interest.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

Even Jabari admitted he isn't claiming any exemption from the Priesthood duty of serving a mission. It is a duty and has been stated as such by every prophet, since David O. McKay. Sure, every young man has their free agency to choose, but every young man is also told from the time they are a Deacon that serving a mission is expected. If you don't believe me, read the hand book and the youth curriculum materials. The only reason a young man shouldn't go is if he isn't worthy or has mental or physical ailments that would make it impossible to serve. Nothing he does as an NBA player can replace the personal spiritual growth he would have or the eternal connections he would make while serving as a missionary. Devoting 2 years of your life to full time missionary service cannot be duplicated by member missionary service. Sure, it would be a sacrifice as it is for every young man, but the eternal rewards are far greater. Sorry I refuse to sugar coat what I feel is a mistake with eternal ramifications. He's going after the money before the kingdom of God.

sandy, ut

Mormon Ute

Do you understand the difference between council and commandment? You are acting as if young men are sinning if they don't go on a mission. That is not the case at all. How do you know what the eternal rewards would be if he did serve a mission? Are you claiming that those that serve missions get better rewards in the after life? What about those who serve missions but fall away later? What about those who don't serve missions but are faithful members their entire lives? I don't think your argument is a logical one.

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