Duke's Jabari Parker declares for NBA draft

By Kyle Johnson,

Duke's freshman forward announced on Thursday that he would be declaring for the upcoming 2014 NBA draft.

Jabari Parker made the announcement through a piece for Sports Illustrated. He said the decision wasn't easy as he enjoyed his time at Duke, both on the court and in the classroom.

But the decision to stay or go came down to what the answer was to two questions: what environment would allow Parker to grow best as a basketball player and as a person off the court. "The answer to both questions is undeniably the NBA."

The 6'8" forward said that the limited shelf life of a basketball career also convinced him now was the right time to turn pro. "The career span of a pro basketball player is finite," he wrote. "I shrink my professional career with each year that I remain in college. It's ironic, but true."

Parker also noted that despite leaving for the NBA, he still plans on continuing his college education and graduating from Duke.

According to The New York Times reports that in his first, and now only year of college basketball, Jabari averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds a game at Duke.

Parker's coach, Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement that the freshman played well during the season and he deserves to "follow his dream." The famed coach added, "He is the epitome of what you would want a basketball player to be."

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