Jabari Parker is hoping to become Duke’s latest one-and-done star to become the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. The 6-foot-8 All-America forward said Thursday he will enter the NBA Draft after being the highest-scoring freshman in Duke history. He was also the first freshman to lead the Blue Devils in scoring and rebounding, and the first freshman in three decades to be selected team MVP.
Now he has the chance to do what Kyrie Irving did in 2011: Follow a one-year stay at Duke by being the first name called in the June draft.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement Thursday it was “an honor for us to have him in our program.” In an essay posted on SI.com, Parker said the NBA offers him the best chance to develop as a player and off the court.
“I realize how much of a privilege and an honor it is to join the ranks of the NBA,” Parker wrote. “I will do everything in my power to help deliver championships to the franchise that drafts me. At the same time, I recognize the obligation to represent the league in an admirable way off the court.”
Parker played in high school at Chicago’s Simeon Career Academy and was frequently mentioned along with Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins as possible No. 1 picks before ever playing a college game.
Also, Kentucky guard James Young will enter the NBA Draft, becoming the first of the Wildcats’ heralded freshmen to turn pro.
The 6-6 Young led Kentucky with 82 3-pointers last season. He was one of six high school All-American recruits on a Wildcats squad that began the season No. 1 with expectations of winning the national championship.