With the recent announcement of Jabari Parker heading to the NBA draft, many people are speculating what took the Duke Blue Devils‘ star so long to decide. Was he seriously considering a return? Well, he announced his decision on Thursday afternoon with his reasons regarding the decision as well — alleviating all Duke fans the stress of speculating.
People may wonder from here on out, ‘what if?’ — as in, what if he stayed to join the top recruiting class in the nation next season?
Smart move by Jabari Parker to enter the Draft…he’s a top 2, maybe top 3 pick. Never risk injury, go play in the NBA and get paid to play.
— NBA Legion (@MySportsLegion) April 17, 2014
The kid knew his value was much needed by an NBA team next season, and why not get paid immediately while also finishing his degree at Duke? Yes, that’s right, Parker wrote an article on Sports Illustrated‘s website today about why he decided to declare. This is what he had to say about graduating:
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.
Parker obviously has a good head on his shoulders and he say that his decision came down to two big factors:
Which environment — college or the NBA — offers me the best opportunity to grow as a basketball player?
Which environment — college or the NBA — offers me the best opportunity to grow and develop off the court?
The answer to both questions is undeniably the NBA.
When you sit down with Mike Kryzyzewski and he tells you that it’s probably your best option to go pro, you listen. He is one of the best college coaches of all time and he’s going to give you nothing but the correct advice.
Overall, Parker made the best choice for his future. He built a small legacy at Duke, will graduate as a Blue Devil — eventually — and he is beloved by everyone surrounding the university, despite his early NCAA Tournament exit.
Well done, Jabari.
Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.