Duke's Jabari Parker to enter 2014 NBA Draft
Posted April 17, 2014
Updated April 18, 2014
Durham, N.C. — Duke freshman Jabari Parker will forgo his remaining college eligibility and enter the 2014 NBA Draft, the university announced Thursday.
Parker, a Chicago native, averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game for the Blue Devils in 2013-14. He set or tied Duke freshmen records for points (670), points per game, rebounds (306) and double-doubles (14).
Parker said his single year at Duke was one of the best experiences of his life.
"I cannot thank Coach K enough for all his love and guidance. I had the opportunity to pick his brain throughout the year and it really paid off," he said in a statement. "I have learned how to be a man on and off the court and to be strong mentally going into practices and games. I appreciate him for challenging me to be better each and every day.”
Parker received first team All-America honors from Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the Wooden Award.
The 2014 ACC Rookie of the Year, Parker is the 16th consensus first team All-America selection under Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Duke’s first since Nolan Smith in 2010-11.
"Jabari could not have been better. He is the epitome of what you would want a basketball player to be – outstanding everyday on the practice court and in the classroom and a very humble young man,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “He had a fantastic freshman year and is so deserving of the opportunity to play in the NBA and follow his dream."
Parker is the third Duke player in the last four seasons to enter the NBA Draft early, and the 13th Blue Devil early-entree overall.
Yahoo and The Sporting News reported Thursday that Rodney Hood will also enter the NBA Draft but Duke University could not confirm he was leaving early.