Jabari Parker made one decision known Friday, though the freshman phenom from Duke left basketball fans waiting for his answer regarding another question.
In Los Angeles for the Wooden Awards, Parker, a Mormon, told ESPN L.A. that he had ruled out serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I think I have at this point,” he said. “It’s either between returning [to school] or [declaring for the draft].”
On that front, basketball fans will have to wait a few more days.
“It’s a very tough decision, especially leaving behind, potentially, my coach and all the people behind the program that helped me out this year,” he told the radio station. “I have to really keep them in consideration. The whole process, it’s very mind-boggling.”
Parker said he intended to announce his decision by the middle of next week. Meanwhile, he shot down reports that he already secured on-campus housing for his sophomore year, calling it simply “rumor.”
Parker, a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds this season, is projected to be a top-three pick if he declares and would stand to make millions of dollars playing in the NBA next season. The money, however, isn’t his or his family’s only consideration.
“They don’t care,” he said of whether his parents had tried to influence his decision. “They just want me to be happy. Because it’s more than just next year. It’s going to be my career from there and how happy I’ll be from there.”
Asked about possibly being drafted by the Lakers, Parker said it would be “a blessing.” Pressed on whether he would like to play in heavily Mormon Utah, Parker said that “wouldn’t matter.”
Day to day
Marvin Williams was kept inactive Friday as he deals with a left knee bone bruise. Williams will travel with the team to Denver for Saturday’s game. With just three games left in the season, Williams isn’t ready to call it quits.
“In the situation we’re in, a lot of guys may try and shut it down,” Jazz coach Ty Corbin said. “He won’t do that.”