College basketball: Jabari Parker still weighing options on going pro or staying at Duke

The Duke freshman was in Oklahoma City, where he was presented with the Wayman Tisdale Award on Monday as the nation’s top freshman at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
by Ryan Aber Published: April 14, 2014
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photo - The Wayman Tisdale Award winner Jabari Parker talks the media during the  College Basketball awards banquet the  National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Monday, April 14, 2014.  Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman
The Wayman Tisdale Award winner Jabari Parker talks the media during the College Basketball awards banquet the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Monday, April 14, 2014. Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman

Over the next few days, Jabari Parker has a decision to make.

The Duke freshman was in Oklahoma City, where he was presented with the Wayman Tisdale Award on Monday as the nation’s top freshman at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

A coincidence on the trip gave Parker another voice to consider as he decides by Wednesday whether or not to declare for the NBA Draft.

On Parker’s flight to Oklahoma City on Monday was Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, who was last year’s Tisdale Award winner. Smart decided to stay for his sophomore year and had an up-and-down season.

Smart, though, continues to say he doesn’t regret coming back.

The two talked before, after and during the flight.

“He just told me congratulations and do whatever feels more comfortable,” Parker said. “I think he was pretty comfortable with what he did and what he chose this year. For a lot of people, that incident at Texas Tech overshadows that but there’s a lot we don’t know so we should stay out of it.”

Last week, The Oklahoman asked Smart what he would tell Parker if he got the chance.

“It’s up to you,” Smart said. “A lot of people tried to persuade my decision to come back. A lot of people criticized me. The same people who love you are the same people who are going to criticize you. They’re going to criticize you each and every way they can.

“It’s sad to see and it’s bad to say, but that’s how it is.”

Parker will meet with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski when he returns to Durham, N.C., and is planning on making his announcement Wednesday.

“I think that I’ll probably put myself on a bulletin board and just point out my pros and cons and if my cons outweigh the pros, then I’ll go the other way.”

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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