Jabari Parker entering NBA draft

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke freshman Jabari Parker is passing up his final three years of eligibility to enter the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-8 Parker, a consensus first-team All-America selection, joins Corey Maggette, Luol Deng, Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers as Blue Devils freshmen to enter the draft after just one year of college basketball. Irving was the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.

Duke sophomore Rodney Hood also will enter the NBA draft, Yahoo! Sports reported, citing sources. The forward is in the process of selecting an agent and plans to make an announcement within the next several days, sources told the website.

In an essay for Sports Illustrated that was released Thursday, Parker wrote: "I realize how much of a privilege and an honor it is to join the ranks of the NBA. I will do everything in my power to help deliver championships to the franchise that drafts me. At the same time, I recognize the obligation to represent the league in an admirable way off the court."

Parker also wrote that his one year at Duke "has been a cherished chapter in my life. I'm very fortunate to have worn the blue and white. And I will always carry with me the memories of playing in front of the Crazies at Cameron. Now it's time to write the next chapter."

"Jabari could not have been better," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. "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. He had a fantastic freshman year and is so deserving of the opportunity to play in the NBA and follow his dream."

Parker is projected as the No. 2 overall pick, behind one-and-done Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins, on ESPN NBA draft Insider Chad Ford's Big Board.

The Chicago native led Duke to a 26-9 season. He averaged 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 assists per game while setting or tying Duke freshman records for points (670), points per game, rebounds (306), double-doubles (14), double-figure scoring games (33) and 20-point games (18).

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