Our take: Andrew Beaton of the Duke Chronicle shares some interesting insights into how Jabari Parker and his family did their due diligence in regards to the LDS Church presence at Duke University. We also learn that Parker is still considering the possibility of serving a 2-year mission.
More than a year ago, Ken Rogerson received an unusual phone call in his office at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. He wasn’t answering as the director of undergraduate studies at Sanford, but rather as the faculty advisor for the Latter-day Saint Student Association.
On the other end was Lola Parker, the mother of highly touted basketball recruit Jabari Parker, who needed to know: What is it like to be a Mormon at Duke?
The call was not a surprise. One of the Blue Devil assistant coaches had been in touch with Rogerson to inform him that a prospect, which he did not name, might reach out to Rogerson.
Although Rogerson never heard back from the Parker family, Parker committed to Duke in December. At 6-foot-8, the Chicago native is praised mostly for his fluid jump shot and complete offensive repertoire. But the small forward is also a deeply committed member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so his mother — like any concerned mother of a prospective student might do — reached out to Rogerson.
“Mormons are not very visible on Duke’s campus. We are a very small contingent. We have 10 to 15 undergraduate students at any one time,” Rogerson said. “She wanted to know what we offer here.”