Duke freshman basketball star Jabari Parker has decided to enter this year's NBA Draft. A video on The Blue Devils' athletic website confirmed speculation that Parker would give up his final three years of eligibility.
He led the team in scoring and rebounding this season. Parker was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and to several national All-America teams. Parker says making his decision took time because there were a lot of people offering him advice.
"When you're in your inner circle, you always want to take other people's perspective," Parker says. "And I think I did that a little bit too much instead of following my heart. And then I spent some time by myself and really thought it through..and the process told me to take the opportunity that's more challenging."
Parker is projected by many NBA scouts and general managers to be an early first-round selection. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement that it was "an honor" to have Parker in the program.
Parker has written about his decision in a Sports Illustrated piece, "My Decision: Why I Made the Difficult Choice to Leave Duke for the NBA." Here's an excerpt:
After losing in the NCAA tournament, I needed to clear my mind. I was incredibly disappointed and blamed myself. I didn't watch basketball or go to the gym for several days. But I soon realized the real test is how we handle defeat and I laced my shoes and headed to the student rec center to play some pick-up.
It reminded me of how much I loved the game, but it was only a temporary reprieve. As soon as I got back, I turned my attention to one of the hardest decisions I've had to make up to this point in my life: whether to remain in school or enter the NBA draft. Read his full story here.
— Duke University (@DukeU) April 17, 2014
— SI College Hoops (@si_ncaabb) April 17, 2014