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Jeff Benedict: SI writer sheds light on Jabari Parker's Mormon faith and bond with Coach K in a Deseret News Exclusive

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  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    "I don’t emphasize my religion,” Parker said. “The truth is I’m not really different from my teammates. I just try to be a good person and they love me for who I am.”

    It’s an approach that has earned Coach K’s respect. “Jabari doesn’t publicize his faith,” Kryzyewski said. “He doesn’t throw it in your face"

    A lot of people could learn from his example.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    And to think, Jabari could instead have been a Ute and then that means he would of won nba most valuable player by now because he would of been a prestegous Ute with a awesome road record!

    Boy has Jabari missed out LOL!

    Go Utes!

  • caleb in new york Glen Cove, NY
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    I'm confident that if Jabari had come to BYU, he would have helped lead BYU to victory over Portland at Portland.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    @Rational:

    No kidding. It's disappointing that there are a number of people who go around this site aggressively pushing opposition to anything true and good. One of the reasons I try to stand and participate in commenting is because of this sort of disruptive, hypocritical intolerance.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    It is wonderful to see coaches like "Coach K". Others should follow his example.

  • Sports Nutz Smithfield, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    Seriously, this is a great story about a great young man and how he is living HIS life. Can we give the childish banter a rest, just once?

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    Stand alone if you must but stand.

  • SoCalUte Trabuco Canyon, CA
    Feb. 19, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    Great Article! I hope a certain Football Coach and a certain Basketball coach up on the hill read the article and learn from it. I mean Learn A Lot from it. Then put it into use.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    Great story and it seems a very fine young man. With or without basketball he's going to be fine.

  • Well.ok Lehi, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 2:28 p.m.

    Would love to have someone of his caliber. Jazz, please tank!

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 19, 2014 4:58 p.m.

    Concerning some of the first comments - haters gonna hate.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Feb. 19, 2014 5:56 p.m.

    Sounds like a well-raised kid.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Feb. 19, 2014 6:45 p.m.

    I am sure that coach Rose does all the same things that coach Kryzyewski did with Jabari.
    Coach Rose has made it to the NCAA championship game as a player. He has also produced a national player of the year. He has an amazing record.

    Duke and Kansas should have amazing records if only because of the caliber of players they attract. Rose could do just as well, or maybe even better with the same raw material. Coach Rose has produced stellar results with less talented players.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Feb. 19, 2014 6:59 p.m.

    To: The Rock, Federal Way, WA: Coach Rose has the same opportunity to go out and recruit those high caliber players. Why then do we not see them and loose to Portland? With the connection that Parker has with the LDS faith, I would have been parked in his driveway if I was Coach Rose. What has happened to the once highly respected BYU Basketball program?

  • oddman ,
    Feb. 19, 2014 9:04 p.m.

    I have come to admire Chris B. and his opinions are, contrary to what many think, insightful and not in the least vindictive. I agree with him that it would be more acceptable if we didn't flaunt religion but respected and found the diverse opinions others express a chance to expand our understanding and love for viewpoints that don't march in lockstep with our own. Some of my most cherished friends are those with different backgrounds and opinions than mine.
    Why not look inside those comments instead of prematurely assuming he is being argumentive and critical.

  • localblue Sandy, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:30 p.m.

    I like Jabari and I like the articles about him. But I hope we're not setting him up for failure by having too much positive coverage of him at such an early age. Nobody realizes the pressure that is put on a kid to call him the "best HS player since Lebron James", etc. He's lived up to the hype thus far but sometimes it's not to just see a good kid be a good kid, without touting his accomplishments and creating expectations at every turn. I hope Mr Benedict gets it and is keeping it all in check.

  • General Alpine, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:46 p.m.

    After reading the SI article it is clear that Jabari made the right choice. It is clear that BYU wasn't in the running, but if he would have considered coming here he wouldn't have learned the finer points. BYU has trouble teaching their bigs to box out and their ball handlers not to go one on five.

  • SoCalTrueBlue San Diego, CA
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:48 p.m.

    I am a very devout member of the LDS Church and love to see a young person like Jabari Parker being such a humble leader. Although I don't like some of Chris B's comments in the past, I put a star by his comment on this article. Shouldn't we all agree that example is the strongest teacher and that throwing one's religion in another's face is annoying? Rational's comment, while clever, was a low blow.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 20, 2014 12:27 a.m.

    This appears to be a tease article. Now I need to read the Sports Illustrated article?

  • CC Saint George, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 7:15 a.m.

    In this day and age of technology, isn't it amazing to see that a little human touch goes a long way. Coach K's efforts to send handwritten letters, to teach / coach a point on basketball during a home visit, to take interest in the development of the character of a person. The story serves as a great reminder of things I can do to strengthen personal and business relationships in my own life. I've heard Coach K speak at a Nike basketball clinic, and wondered how anyone would ever say no to him if he were recruiting you. He is such a dynamic personality off the court.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    @SoCalTrueBlue
    "Rational's comment, while clever, was a low blow."

    Context, my friend, context. 10,000 posts give one context.

  • EPoint Roy, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    Kyle Collinsworth is certainly a Jabari-Parker type of player, though a few inches shorter, and no Parker means Kyle has had opportunity to play, develop. As a BYU fan, I'm rooting for him to improve, help take the Cougs to at least the Final 4 someday.

    It is obvious Coach K. at Duke has had outstanding talent to work with, year after year, and that is why so many wins, that and support of non-LDS media & fans, which far outnumber the LDS community, who believe there are more important things than basketball.

    I remind that BYU has not won the NCAA basketball championship, ever, nor made the final 4. That is a wonderment to me...why can't the Cougars win it, why does it always have to be Duke, or just certain elite teams? Answer may be D&C 130:20-21, perhaps it is not the nature of BYU to be so single-mindedly basketball that they totally focus to obey the law by which a blessing of NCAA Champs may be obtained? Perhaps that law in part is getting the better, elite players like Jabari Parker?

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    @oddman

    I'm not against different points of view from my own, and I'm certain most everyone else is on here would agree with me. But what we don't like is condescending, childish rhetoric being shoved down our throats.

    So perpetually mocking BYU fans for rooting for their team, win or lose, is in your opinion "insightful" or going on a message board before a BYU game is even over and laughing about the score is, in your opinion "...not in the least vindictive," (By the way, BYU ended up winning some of those games) than I suppose civil discussion in your view must mean, do as we say, not as we do.

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 2:06 p.m.

    Sounds like a great kid.

    A winner.

  • Lillith70 SLC, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    Top commenter Chris B has a point. But these telling words? " A lot of people could learn from his example." Hmmmn. If we all fixed ourselves first what a wonderful world it would be or so say all the great religions and philosophers?

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Feb. 23, 2014 7:50 a.m.

    The huge majority of us LDS folks just try to live our lives and our beliefs the best we know how. Yet we are imperfect humans. We are a proselyting, missionary Church. Occasionally I get a bit too pushy but for the most part I just try to live the second great commandment: "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself". Jabari is someone we all can emulate.

  • I Still Can't Say It Holladay, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    It's a good article. It's too bad Jeff Benedict is a polarizing and controversial figure in Utah nowadays. He really hurt his credibility last year when he attacked Utah and Utah fans. Real shame.