ESPN report: Jabari Parker rules out going on Mormon mission, still undecided on declaring for NBA draft

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  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    April 16, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    You want to know why I don't go back to church, it's all the people who are judging this kid because he chose to not go on a mission, or will be working some Sundays. I thought it was his choice, and he has agency, yet all of you get upset on what this kid should do with his life. It isn't your life, you're getting into heaven(or not)regardless of Jabari Parker's decision. No wonder the kid is iffy about playing in SLC, he will have this angry judgmental crowd attacking him after any move he makes.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    April 15, 2014 2:59 p.m.

    If you look at what we are really trying to accomplish in this life, what we are trying to become, it becomes easier to understand why sisters in the church are given the option to serve if they choose, but young men are called upon to prepare and to serve.

    To those of you who will want to refute my opinion, you'll have a better time of it using Gifford Nielson as your example. But my favorite athlete of all time is Eli Herring.

  • james d. morrison Boise, CA
    April 15, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    Can anyone think of any athletes that had great professional careers that did serve a mission? The only one I can think of is Chad Lewis and his career was good, but not spectacular.

  • eaglerun Midvale, UT
    April 15, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    I don't remember the call for ALL worthy young men to serve have an exception to how famous you are. Or have I heard that only a some are inspired to go. The person that said a mission is not a saving ordinance is right, but don't forget as a missionary you are bringing saving ordinances to those that don't have them. I hate to judge anyone as to why they would serve or not serve, but don't be fooled into thinking that his mission is to play basketball. All of us at some point have to figure out why we are here and what God wants us to do. I can't say I wouldn't have made the same decision as Jabari, but I am glad I didn't have to.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 13, 2014 6:32 p.m.

    You all really seem to know a lot of what is going through his head - from 2000 miles away.

    As to the comment about playing in Utah versus playing for the Lakers.... well duh. The Jazz are not a team with a history, or any prestige. They would have gotten the same response had they asked about playing for Bobcats, or any of the other tier two teams. Lets not be over sensitive here.

    Duke is a premier program. The Lakers are a premier program. BYU nor the Jazz are premier programs.

    His decision should not be at all considered as a way to judge his beliefs or his intentions.. anymore so than they were for Steve Young.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    April 13, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    It seemed like passing on a mission was an easy decision for him. He did say its a really tough decision on whether to come back for another year of college, noting that it would be tough to leave behind a coach and program that really helped him out. He also said it didn't matter if he played in Utah, but that he would feel blessed to play in Los Angeles. He's really focused on other things.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    April 13, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    Couldn't we just be content with Jabari respectfully asking NBA players if he could tell them about his church, prior to tip offs?

  • wazzup Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 13, 2014 7:50 a.m.

    If you think he should go on a mission for his own benefit, that is one thing. If you think he should go to help spread the word, he has already done so an will continue to do so based on who he is.

    He would be a perfect fit at Boston with Danny Ainge looking after him. :)

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    April 13, 2014 5:45 a.m.

    He's a special talent. I hope he declares for the draft and ideally the Jazz pick him. That would be too good to be true, but God works in mysterious ways.

    A mission would be great, but he's probably more talented than Steve Young, so if somehow he can withstand all the temptations that playing in the NBA bring and maintain his testimony that would be great publicity and "missionary" service for the LDS church.

  • Farmhand20 Vernal, UT
    April 13, 2014 5:45 a.m.

    Jabari does not need to go on a two year proselytizing mission, to be a missionary. In fact, he has probably sparked more peoples curiosity about the Mormon church, just from the national exposure he gets, than all of the RM's who have commented on here, including myself. I believe Jabari will become a superstar in the NBA, and have a great influence on many, particularly the youth. No, he may not go on a normal two year mission, and become an RM, but he will be an LTM (Life Time Missionary). Maybe that is what all of us should strive to be. By the way Gregory Hill, I was on my mission in Philadelphia, and I wish you guys the best out there, but I am hoping for a miracle and the Jazz can get him, if he declares for the draft. Besides, you guys have Philly Cheese Steaks, what more could you possibly want ?

  • RonBergundy SANDY, UT
    April 13, 2014 3:29 a.m.

    Don't know why people are saying to stop commenting on what he's missing out on. None of the comments have ridiculed. All they've said is that he may regret it and why he might, which isn't ridiculing. DNews moderators don't let anything negative through.

    @Another view. This argument that many apostles didn't serve has no clout. In their day, many were required to serve in the military and it was a time if war. It wasn't until Kimball that The Lord said "every young man should serve a mission" and Monson has said the exact same thing. Justification is never a reason to not fulfill a commandment from God

  • Coog Fan in Spokane Spokane, WA
    April 13, 2014 12:35 a.m.

    For those using GA's to rationalize anyone today not serving a mission - many GA's came of age around and shortly after WW2 when Church Wards were restricted to one or two men serving at any point in time. For any GA older than 75, they very well may not have been offered the opportunity.

    By all accounts, Jabari is a great young man and will continue to represent his beliefs whatever he decides to do. Personally, I don't understand why he would stay another year in college and risk anything that would damage his current draft value; I've not heard a single expert indicate that any deficiency in his game would be better addressed by staying one more year at Duke. Maybe he's waiting to get a better assessment of where he's likely to be drafted before he commits.

    Incidentally, there are a lot of young athletes in the college and pro ranks who could benefit greatly as individuals from a year or two away from being the center of the universe to learn what it's like to get their hands dirty and exhaust themselves serving others without thought of personal gain.

  • JasonH84 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 12, 2014 7:34 p.m.

    None of us has any clue what he's going through in making these decisions. Certainly none of us has any reference even close to his that we can pass judgement on the young man. Unless you too have been hailed since age 16 as, "The Next Lebron." Come on people, you can be disappointed and you can disagree with his decision, but your mission and your decisions at that age have absolutely no relevance in this discussion.

  • anotherview SLO, CA
    April 12, 2014 6:57 p.m.

    We need to stop measuring people according to whether they did or did not serve a mission.


    Who is this?

    Served 1 yr in the Naval Reserves stationed in San Diego, until he was 19 yrs old
    Returned to school.
    Married at age 21.
    Never served a mission

    answer: Thomas S. Monson

  • CA. reader Rocklin, CA
    April 12, 2014 5:55 p.m.

    I would imagine that if Coach K could recruit a really good big man, Jabari would stay for one more year. That is all that Duke lacked this past season.

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    April 12, 2014 4:04 p.m.


    I saw the same thing. You know what I thought?

    How many missionaries truly sacrifice for a mission? Many. David Archuleta--not as much as most. He left a good job, fame, glory, etc., yes. However, can you honestly tell me that him doing interviews and being put on "YouTube" and doing concerts is considered a sacrifice?
    He came back home to a bank account full of money, and a job that will provide for the rest of his life.
    Before you say it, I'm not jealous. I saw sacrifice. It was my companion who was from Chile who got up at 4 am everyday before his mission who found cardboard on the streets and sold it door to door. It was the companion from Argentina who put cardboard in his shoes to cover holes. Not the ones who were put on the internet and did interviews for the world to see to show how much they love the Lord. It was the ones who loved him silently and didn't publicize it. His mission was "low profile", but for 2 years we heard about concerts, interviews, and saw pictures all over.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    April 12, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    Jabari's dad is not LDS, so he likely didn't feel the same pressure to serve a mission. I'm glad to see he did what he wanted to do rather than what he was being told to do. Too many bow to the pressure of authority and culture rather than following their heart.

  • gwtchd Mountain Village, AK
    April 12, 2014 2:43 p.m.

    I choose not to go on a mission and have regretted it ever since. I see how blessed those who went are and know that had I serve the Lord my life would be different in some very important ways. It is hard when you are young to see the future blessing that will be missed, when al you see is stardom. How ever, if he chose to serve he would be a star when he returned no doubt, but choosing not to go there is room for doubt of being as successful as he would like tone.

    Case in point: When Jim McMann left BYU, he mocked Gods Church and His standards. We all see how he faired in his career. Yes, he made it to the Super Bowl but that was it. His career was short lived and racked with injuries. And no one hardly remembers who he is or his accomplishment.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 12, 2014 1:54 p.m.

    Totally unfair for people to be judging here. Why don't we put Steve Young and Danny Ainge up for introspection as well. Why don't you worry about your own salvation, and let him and his own personal inspiration, plus his bishop deal with making this decision.

    This is none of others business….

    This young man has done more to progress the image of the church into many communities that would not give us attention before. His mission in this life is not yours, and yours likewise is not his. I would be really careful jumping into the judgement seat.

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    April 12, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    "How many great athletes who had tremendous professional careers have express regret over not going on a mission?"

    We're only in Act 2 of this 3 Act play. Let's wait to find out what everyone regrets when we stand before God to be judged. I know I'll have plenty to account for to have to worry about what others (especially athletes) will have to account for. It's his decision and one he makes between him and God. I will say I admire those athletes who have forgone what might have been a potential athletic career to do what they knew to be right. Which might explain why there are so few good role models in athletics.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    April 12, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    "I don't think there has been a great athlete that has regretted serving a Mormon mission."

    There are probably tens of thousands of people who regret serving missions, but you won't read their regrets in Deseret News, or anywhere else, for that matter. If anyone regrets serving a mission, they are socially shamed to keep it silent.

  • Jerseyblue middletown, NJ
    April 12, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    I suppose it's not that imporant but Greg you will need to move east over the Delaware River to Via Sikahema's state of New Jersey to be in the state with the lowest LDS population per capita in the US.
    I think it is telling in the Church leadership that none of the members of the First Preidency and many of the members of the Quorum of the Televe did not serve full time missions. WHile having served my own mission was the most significant event in my life there are certainly many strong righteuos LDS (and non LDS) people who have not served the Lord in this manner..

  • Chasey San Antonio, TX
    April 12, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    Steve Young (the guy who went to BYU), Donny Osmond, and both of my grandfathers did not go on missions. I am sure all of these great men (including Jabari Parker) have prayed about it. They do not strike me as people who would shirk a challenge and demur if the Lord inspired them to go on missions.

  • Seldom Seen Smith Orcutt, CA
    April 12, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    His mission will be to demonstrate how to be an exemplary Mormon by being paid millions of dollars a year to throw a ball through a hoop on Sundays.

  • jasonlivy Orem, UT
    April 12, 2014 10:41 a.m.


    First off, I'm sorry your mission wasn't what you expected. I had a completely different experience that I've relied on throughout my life. I've been home 20 years but still experience lasting joy from serving. It helped mold and shape me in the gospel like no experience ever did.

    My simple and unassuming comment was based on the program I watched about David Archuleta after conference. It was inspiring and he had a similar decision to make that Jabari has. No doubt David would have a huge influence for good no matter what he did, but he chose to serve the Lord by putting his love for the Savior above his own desires. That is a huge sacrifice and one I believe Jabari would benefit hearing from someone who's as famous as he is.

    Basketball and singing are different, but serving a mission did not do any favors for David's singing career. Yet he still served.

    I am in no way saying that Jabari has any less love for the gospel than David. I know he is getting wise council from his parents, coaches, and church leaders. I wish him only the best.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    April 12, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    Disappointed at what is certainly his decision to make. It doesn't make him a bad person. Just some concern as a mission was one of his lifetime goals; hope he doesn't regret this. It is hard because he has all this attention, these "pro" expectations, money/security, a great school/program to stay with if he wants to, and some doubts about what a mission might do to his skills/conditioning.

    My feeling is that ALL college athletes (with very few economic exceptions) should stay in college four years of eligibility and get a degree. That the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL should require a four-year degree to work (play) for them.

    So would like to see Jabari serve a mission, get two years of maturity, finish three more years at Duke (or wink, transfer to BYU) and then go pro. Interesting, too, is that while his skill set certainly exceeds Jimmer's, it is highly possible that more time with Coach K at Duke would improve Parker's less than great defensive skills -- which with all the hype has proved to be Fredette's downfall at the next level.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 12, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    @Gregory Hill
    I was thinking "no way is that true" and assumed a southern state had the lowest rate. I looked it up and PA is 47th (I was thinking 30th so you were much closer than I) at 392 mormons per 100,000. Guess that explains why the stake reached from the New York to Maryland border... I'd just assumed central PA was sparsely populated.

    The lowest state was New Jersey at 360 per 100k. DC had 70 per 100k.

  • drbarbiedpm GRAHAM, WA
    April 12, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    Being a returned missionary myself, I know the life experience that Jabari will be missing out on by not serving a mission. That's a shame. Jabari seems like a bright young man so I hope he makes the second-best decision and stays in school. it's too bad he's decided not to serve a mission though. He's going to miss out on a great learning experience.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    April 12, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    I never expected him to go on a mission. It was always a hoax as was his interest in attending BYU. I'm not saying I would turn the money down, but I certainly would be honest about it. It takes courage and conviction to live standards. When he selected Duke it was clear that he had little interest in anything except professional basketball. I wish him well.

  • bigv56 Cottonwood, CA
    April 12, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    People lose their minds about sports. This is all about money. I hope he does well and keeps his standards,but their is no comparison between "keeping your skills" for basketball and seeing The Lord for two years. When it came time to choose, he punted.

  • hadtosayit Sandy, UT
    April 12, 2014 9:47 a.m.


  • Gregory Hill Richboro, PA
    April 12, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Happy, Jabari would not likely be viewed as more desirable by NBA teams if he remained at Duke. He is already a consensus Top 3 draft pick, and as more polished in vid basketball skills than his competitors for the top pick: Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins.

    One cannot improve much on that draft profile, but a weak season (or an injury) could result in a much less favorable future draft situation for Jabari, a deterioration that could cost him many millions of dollars.

    April 12, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    "I don't think there has been a great athlete that has regretted serving a Mormon mission."
    If you are saying that in a sarcastic tone, then you're funny and I agree.

  • Gregory Hill Richboro, PA
    April 12, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    Jabari would almost surely be a top three pick in this year's draft. He is viewed by basketball scouts as being more polished than Andrew Wiggins, who is viewed as having more upside.

    I really hope he declares for the draft and ends up with the Philadelphia 76ers, and is wildly successful. We have fewer Mormons per capita in PA than any other State in the union. If Jabari comes here, he will be serving a mission of sorts, and will have a marvelous opportunity to serve as a role model, as Vai Sikahema has done.

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    April 12, 2014 8:36 a.m.


    Since athleticism and singing are the same category.

    David Archuleta would still be able to maintain his same level of skill on his mission.

    Parker could and most likely would lose much of his skill. He would drop from a top 3 pick to possibly not even being drafted at all.

    Coming from me, an RM and active member, the whole mindset of missions and being and RN is completely absurd to me. RM means nothing. I served with many people who should have been sent home for things they did, but they are RMs and nobody knows what type of missionaries they were.
    If Parker is an active, worthy and good Priesthood holder--who cares. A mission is not a saving ordinance. The purpose of college is to provide for your family. If Parker can get one year of college in and then have the possibility to provide for his family next year, that is HIS decision. Not ANY of you. Shame on all of you for judging him for his decision. Neither of you are him, the Savior, or his bishop or stake president.

  • happy2BGrandma Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 12, 2014 2:35 a.m.

    What is the big hurry? Wouldn't he be a much more valuable player with three more years of collegiate play under his belt? He would also be able to complete his undergraduate education. Are his parents pushing this? I had previously thought Parker was a young man with goals in his life that reached a little higher place than he is now showing. It seems that getting out "there" and making bucks seems to be the ultimate goal at this point. Too bad.

  • jasonlivy Orem, UT
    April 12, 2014 2:27 a.m.

    I think he needs to talk to David Archuleta.

    April 12, 2014 2:12 a.m.

    My gut it telling me Jabari will stay in school to have a chance of winning an NCAA championship, plus he will be with a very talented roster and the best coach in college basketball. The Utah Jazz picked the wrong year to not be any good considering they will have the sixth pick in the draft and all of the best college players will be gone by the time they select.

    How I wish Corbin would have started Kanter, Favors, Trey, Alex and Gordon three or four months ago and let them develop as a starting unit. I believe their record would be much better and management would be focusing more on free agency and surrounding them with good bench players with the available cap space they have then the upcoming draft.

    I hope Jabari makes the right decision for himself and that the Jazz will get very luck in the lottery and have the balls bounce their way!!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 12, 2014 12:45 a.m.

    Good decision Jabari!

    I don't think you will ever regret it.

    Lovely Deseret,

    How many great athletes who had tremendous professional careers have express regret over not going on a mission?

  • vinnyb3 Provo, UT
    April 12, 2014 12:18 a.m.

    Super tough decision. He'll do great things for the LDS Church either way. I don't think most of us really understand how tough of a decision this would be.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    April 11, 2014 9:18 p.m.

    I don't think there has been a great athlete that has regretted serving a Mormon mission.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 11, 2014 7:58 p.m.

    One for two:

    * will not go on a mission
    * will not go back to Duke