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Jeff Benedict: Deseret News exclusive: Watching Katie Couric's interview with Jabari Parker at New York Mormon meetinghouse

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  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    June 13, 2012 7:07 a.m.

    Sounds like a wonderful young man. Parents are doing it right and he is making the right choices. Oh, how I would love to see him at the Y, but I doubt it will be his final choice.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 13, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    Nice kid. He'll have a great influence on his teammates at Duke.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    June 13, 2012 9:16 a.m.

    ernie
    say it isn't so. what about the pac 10 plus 2? Utah? How could he do such a thing?
    Well he is classy!

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    June 13, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    We all doubt Jabari will choose the Y. We all doubt he'll go on a mission. But sometimes, we are just wrong. I'm confident that when Jabari boils it down to a final decision, there will be 4 choices - Duke, either KY or MSU, BYU or mission followed by going to one of those schools. But it does seem like he is one of those special ones that come along every 20 years or so.

  • Andy Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    What a great kid. Can't wait to watch the interview.

    As if he cared what I think about his choice of schools, but...Duke will ruin him. Soft nobodys come from there. How about a real program that makes you tough enough to win an NBA championship. There are a dozen schools I would take over the dukies.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    June 13, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    Love this story! Could do without all the sappy, fawning over Couric, who didn't exactly tear up the ratings with her nightly news anchoring stint, but I do enjoy hearing about this kid. A humble, non-street-thug in todays basketball world is rare. Hope to keep hearing more and more about him being the real deal!

  • JParkerfan St. George, UT
    June 13, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    If he is smart he'll go to UNC and play for the classiest coach in the country. (And the best program)

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    June 13, 2012 9:49 a.m.

    Good to see Couric in church for once in her life. Hope it didn't scar her too much.

    Surprised Obama hasn't tried to take him one on one.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    June 13, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    It's a shame to me that, based on his talent, any coach in the country would be happy to accommodate a mission while those less talented either have to choose a University that is misison friendly or just not even serve. I'm glad that Parker will at least have support if he chooses to serve but am disappointed for all the other Mormon athletes who would like to serve but are limited.

    It'd sure be something if he chose BYU, but he'll have a great experience most anywhere he goes.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2012 10:04 a.m.

    What a remarkable, classy young man. With his boatloads of talent and his level-headed, down-to-earth personality, he will be a great asset to the sport of basketball, as well as a great ambassador for his faith.

  • Kouger Lehi, UT
    June 13, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    Will BYU get another "J", so Y fans can change from "Jimmered" to "Jabaried"? ...LOL! Anyway, he will still be great whereever he decides to go, since he's already got his foundation planted. Good luck to this wonderful young man. I'm already a fan.

  • Ken Sisler Newmarket, Ontario
    June 13, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    I think Jabari Parker is already one of the greatest missionaries we have. What a great person he is!

  • rogerdpack2 Orem, UT
    June 13, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    At least they gave them some free basketballs out of it? weird.

  • Kjirstin Youngberg Mapleton, UT
    June 13, 2012 11:00 a.m.

    Love to see exemplary young men in any field...but, yeah, ya did kinda kiss Katie Couric's feet in this article. I know...we're all in awe of her* but this article bordered on reverence. Please. She's a flippin' reporter, for goodness sake.

    *I'll never forget my excitement when I covered the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, and saw her step from a limo. Giddy with excitement, I squealed her name, and she turned around and smiled at me. I automatically snapped a photo of her, but did I get anything newsworthy? Does the top of Mario Cuomo's head count? I also got a shot of the fake Father Guido Sarducci (comedian Don Novello) and at one point found myself in a private, black-curtained hallway where I nearly ran into Gary Hart. I took his picture, too, but he looked like a petrified jackrabbit, and I couldn't use it. Later, he bowed out in disgrace over another photo that emerged of a sweet young thing sitting on his lap in a boat. My, how times have changed.

  • just-a-fan Bountiful, UT
    June 13, 2012 12:03 p.m.

    I find this weird. Every time an LDS person does something exciting people here in Utah automatically act as if he is one of them. He has nothing to do with Utah. Give it a rest.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    June 13, 2012 12:27 p.m.

    "Surprised Obama hasn't tried to take him one on one."

    @Charles, it is kind of surprising. It wouldn't be the first time Obama attempted to do something he ultimately ends up failing miserably at.

    That being said, I really hope he chooses BYU, but like most people I don't think he will. However, the possibility is there, and a relatively good chance, too (meaning it's significantly greater than 0).

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2012 1:03 p.m.

    Regarding the Katie Couric references,

    I wouldn't really call that fawning or kissing her feet. She has certainly earned the accolades given her here and elsewhere.

    Charles,

    Whether you meant "in Church" or "in an LDS Church" I actually wouldn't be suprizied if Katie Couric said she has religious beliefs or had been in an LDS meetinghouse before. Who knows, she may have even attended the full 3 hour block. You never know. I don't know that any of us can really say whether she is a religious person or not.

    just-a-fan,

    Being that the people getting excited can qualify Jabari as a member of the LDS Church, members will get excited. The fact that Utah has a higher than average LDS population, is home to the headquarters of the LDS Church, this paper is owned by the LDS Church- may have something to do with it.

    With respect, what's weird isn't the association or attention given by LDS members who reside in this state; However, it is weirder to me to question why a crowd with a sizable LDS membership would pay attention to other members when in the public spotlight.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    June 13, 2012 1:10 p.m.

    Okay, this is about Jabari and Katie on Good Morning America. I'll make sure that I will watch tomorrow morning show at 8 AM.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 13, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    ute alumni: Not sure what you're talking about.
    You do realize that when you claim a group or individual doesn't have class, that you have no class, right? Even thinking it shows that person has no class.

  • Robroy Murray, utah
    June 13, 2012 4:12 p.m.

    I think his Mom lived in Utah. Don't know but that could be a Utah tie.

  • bobosmom small town, Nebraska
    June 13, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    Good luck in his future endeavors. I hope that where ever he goes that if he wants to go on a mission that the school he chooses will work around it.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    June 13, 2012 5:56 p.m.

    ernie,
    i'll help you. i said he has class and that everytime there could be a connection with BYU you find, with your deep insight and inside information that he will be going to duke. glad you have all the answers and know who has class.

  • localblue Sandy, UT
    June 13, 2012 6:01 p.m.

    Geez, with all the attention this kid is getting, it'll be a miracle if he doesn't have a breakdown from the pressure. He seems like he has a good head on his shoulders but I know I'd have a hard time with it.

  • jawico Cedar City, UT
    June 13, 2012 7:52 p.m.

    His choice has never been what college will let him serve a mission. He's a one and done player and doesn't turn 19 until well after his freshman season (and the NBA draft). His choice is whether or not to postpone his NBA career for a mission.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2012 11:41 p.m.

    I'd love to see a picture of Jabari's parents. They are the people I'm impressed with.

  • InspectorC Wasatch Front, UT
    June 14, 2012 9:57 a.m.

    Just watched this segment on GMA....

    Katie Couric did an absolutely awesome job!!! I've never been a big fan of hers, but on this one she hit it out of the park! She was a Class-Act all the way!!

    And ABC/GMA's editors did an equally awesome job editing it all together, and making the piece accurate, informative and respectful of the LDS Church/religion.

    I have to say I WAS a little surprised to see them set up and interview/film INSIDE the chapel portion of the meetinghouse!! 8^)

  • InspectorC Wasatch Front, UT
    June 14, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    RE: just-a-fan at 12:03 p.m., 6-13-12, said:
    I find this weird. Every time an LDS person does something exciting people here in Utah automatically act as if he is one of them. He has nothing to do with Utah. Give it a rest.

    Just-a-Fan: You are grossly mis-interpreting the data!!

    It's NOT a "Utah thing", dude.... it's a "religion thing" (a common religious-affiliation).

    _Mormons_ (not Utahns) DO "act as if he is one of them"..... because he IS!!!

    As you yourself said, it "has nothing to do with Utah."

    MORMONS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY/WORLD --not Utahns-- are touting this amazing kid.

  • stampederus Ephraim, UT
    June 14, 2012 12:03 p.m.

    I watched the interview on GMA and was surprised that Ms. Couric did not know that the correct name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She used the name The Church of Latter Day Saints. I wonder if Sarah Palin would have known better?

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    June 14, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    @Andy

    "Duke will ruin him. Soft nobodys come from there."

    He's much more likely to be soft and not go anywhere out of BYU than Duke ... sports wise that is.

    @stampederus - "Ms. Couric did not know that the correct name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She used the name The Church of Latter Day Saints. I wonder if Sarah Palin would have known better?"

    Sensitive much?

    @InspectorC

    "ABC/GMA's editors did an equally awesome job editing it all together, and making the piece accurate, informative and respectful of the LDS Church/religion."

    It's like you're just looking for them to say something wrong.

    To those full of excitement to see a Mormon NBA prospect ... wow. You don't see Catholics, protestants, atheists, or any other group get so riled up when they have a potential superstar than the Mormons. In fact I don't even hear about their religion, just their athletic abilities. Is there desperation here for something?

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    June 15, 2012 7:04 a.m.

    @LValfre

    Prety sure you're the "Sensitive" and "Desperate" one here.

    Too positive an aritcle on the LDS for you?
    Didn't fit your narrative?

    Go fishing Dude, relax.
    The Mormons are here to stay.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    June 15, 2012 7:07 a.m.

    @LValfre

    I guess Tim Tebow flew under your radar as well.
    Nobody ever mentions his Faith, right L?

  • Cougarista Salt Lake City, UT
    June 15, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    This is about a super athlete and his faith. It's a sad commentary that the two existing together is considered such a novelty. Good fortune to him and his family, Personal development involves both athletic and spiritual components. With his talent and heart - UNC, BYU, Duke, it doesn't matter.

  • MLH SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 15, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    LValfre

    To those full of excitement to see a Mormon NBA prospect ... wow. You don't see Catholics, protestants, atheists, or any other group get so riled up when they have a potential superstar than the Mormons. In fact I don't even hear about their religion, just their athletic abilities. Is there desperation here for something?

    It's the DNews and for byu fans it only happens about every 25 years that's why they get so excited.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    June 15, 2012 7:07 p.m.

    Whatever happned to the media blackout proclaimed by his family? And even the dnews cant leave it alone. He is a kid, let him be a kid. Stop with all mission talk. This kid is potentially a wreck woth all the mormon pressure and his basketball talent. Leave him alone he is a kid, and mom and dad stand by your word with the media exposure -- you hae already had one failure with this.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    June 16, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    Great interview and a great kid. It does bother me when JESUS CHRIST is left out of the name of the church. Those are two VERY important words and they are there for a very important reason. It states clearly and concisely exactly what we believe in.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    June 16, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    @mightymite

    Do you always speak before you think? This interview was filmed previous to the Parker's decision to end the media coverage by several weeks. It was only just now shown. You utah "fans" sure struggle with facts.

  • Wendall Hoop Murray, UT
    June 17, 2012 11:20 p.m.

    Yes Robroy you are right she has all cousins living in Utah lots played football at Utah and Byu. However I see the pint which is why all the Byu fans make a deal out of it like they know him Just cause he is Mormon.

  • BH Tremonton, UT
    June 18, 2012 12:23 p.m.

    Great to hear about such a tallented, yet also well balanced young man. Hope he keeps that humble attitude as he is blessed with success and the attention that will accompany it.

    While I do agree that Katie Couric is a talented news reporter, I do find myself questioning why, if she is so talented, does she associate herself with a program like Good Morning America. Few can dispute that GMA is more about entertainment and less about news. I know no one, who is serious about staying informed on national and world events, that considers GMA a reliable source.

    Perhaps Katie just likes human interest stories. In which case, if she is such a talented interviewer, this is such a waste of skills.

  • aunt lucy Looneyville, UT
    June 19, 2012 8:06 a.m.

    What an amazing kid! (with amazing parents I must add) No matter where he plays, I'm a big fan of his. Truly classy. Hopefully more of today's youth can follow his example of how to

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    June 21, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    Great interview to watch. Good publicity for the Church.

  • JakeD San Diego, CA
    June 21, 2012 12:13 p.m.

    Wow...Katie Couric and ABC really dropped the ball. All these years and they STILL can't get the name of the church right?! We have a style-guide online. What more do you want mainstream media? The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints

  • Cordwainer Bird Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2012 9:32 p.m.

    How can this even come close to being a "Deseret News exclusive" when its a newspaper story about a broadcast news story about a sports magazine story. Honestly, the Deseret News is at least twice removed from a report that was first reported by two other news agencies. Don't pat yourself on the back about getting the scoop, DNews. This is hardly an "exclusive."