Over a year, Ken Rogerson picked up his office phone at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and on the other end? Lola Parker, Jabari Parker’s mom. She wanted to know how life being a Mormon at Duke.
“Mormons are not very visible on Duke’s campus. We are a very small contingent. We have 10 to 15 undergraduate students at any one time,” Rogerson said. “She wanted to know what we offer here.”
Parker committed to Duke in December to the delight of Blue Devil fans everywhere and that phone call may have been a key part in deciding Parker’s future. He takes his faith very seriously and to this day still attends church services and gets up every day at 6:30 AM to go to early morning bible study.
“[Jabari] says, ‘Basketball is what I do, it’s not who I am,’” Sonny Parker, his dad, said. “For him to be a good person and treat people like he wants to be treated, he handles it a lot better than the normal kid because since grammar school, we just made sure he’s around the right people that support him.”
His faith was a key part of his recruitment for the schools who were near the top. Mike Izzo even took Parker to an LDS service during his Michigan State visit. It will be interesting to see how Parker’s faith evolves over the years, and if he ever has a problem, he can always go to Rogerson’s office.