Jabari Parker May Sign in the Spring; Could Take Mormon Mission Before College | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / July 14.
  • Jabari Parker May Sign in the Spring; Could Take Mormon Mission Before College

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    Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon may not be the only 2013 superstars who sign in the spring.

    Jabari Parker may join them  — and then he may not land on a college campus for a couple of years, if at all — if he takes a Mormon mission.

    Sonny Parker, Jabari’s father, told the AP that his son may commit in December but wait until the spring to sign his Letter of Intent.

    “We really don’t know for sure, for sure,” he said. “He has five visits. He might go on his first two visits and say, ‘Hey, this is where I want to go.’ You never know. I know all his visits are going to go past the (early) signing period. His last visit, probably BYU, is going to be the end of November.”

    The 6-foot-8 Parker is the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2013 out of Chicago Simeon.

    According to reports, he is scheduled to make five official visits, starting this weekend with Michigan State. He also has visits to Duke (Oct. 26-28), Florida (Nov. 2-4), Stanford (Nov. 9-11) and Brigham Young later in November set up.

    “He’ll probably commit if he can’t sign on those days (in November),” Sonny Parker said. “That’s what I’m hearing from him. And he’ll sign in the spring.”

    Parker is also a devout Mormon, which could impact when he lands on a college campus — if at all. It’s theoretically possible that Parker could do his two-year mission and then head straight to the NBA in 2015.

    As the AP pointed out, a new rule recently went into effect that lowers the age when members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can go on a mission from 19 to 18.

    “It’s a possibility, that option,” Sonny said of Jabari delaying his college arrival. “His brother went on a mission. I’m sure that’s still an option, but he hasn’t made any type of decision or commitment one way or another. Right now, he’s trying to get healthy and deal with this college recruiting and decision making. He’s just trying to deal with that now.”

    Jabari Parker is due for an MRI in three weeks on his broken right foot that still requires crutches. It remains unclear when he’ll play again.

    “They really don’t know,” Sonny said. “They’re talking about in six weeks, but he’s still got to go through some rehabilitation, some therapy. That’s going to take some time.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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