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Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft

Jabari Parker feels pain of losing in NCAA tournament
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

For a moment, it seemed like Duke would have the services of Jabari Parker for two seasons. However, the superstar forward announced on Thursday that he would be taking his talents to the NBA.

At 6'8" Parker is a gifted scorer from multiple places on the floor. Eventually, he should be a knock down three point shooter in the NBA. Right now, his versatility is off the charts. His mid-range and face up game will continue to thrive.

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Parker looks like the best offensive player entering the draft, but ESPN's Chad Ford has the Duke forward No.2 on his projected draft board. He currently sits behind fellow freshman Andrew Wiggins for the top spot. Wiggins' teammate Joel Embiid is the No.3 prospect.

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Jabari Parker averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds. The allure of playing with Jahlil Chicago native Okafor at Duke wasn't enough to entice Parker to stay in school. The bottom line is when you're a top five pick, you should take chances with the draft.

Of course I'd love to play with Bari again, but couldn't be happier for my brother! Deserves it more than anyone.
— Jahlil Okafor (@BigJah22) April 17, 2014

ESPN notes that Jabari Parker broke or tied five freshman records this season. This included having (18) 20 point games. Duke finished the season with a (26-9) record, but their shocking exit in the first round of the NCAA tournament seemed to be weighing on Parker's decision.

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A statement by Mike Krzyzewski praised the total effort of Jabari Parker as a student athlete in his one year at Duke. Coach K via ESPN-"Jabari could not have been better. He is the epitome of what you would want a basketball player to be -- outstanding every day on the practice court and in the classroom and a very humble young man," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement Thursday. "He had a fantastic freshman year and is so deserving of the opportunity to play in the NBA and follow his dream." Despite the loss of Parker, Duke has a nice team returning with some studs in the next freshman class.

Now that Parker has decided to pursue his professional dreams, most of the top 10 prospects have all declared except for Montrezl Harrell.


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