A promising rookie season came to a screeching halt in mid-December for Jabari Parker when he tore the ACL in his left knee, but the 20-year old refuses to feel sorry for himself.
After staying away for a few months, Parker began traveling with the Milwaukee Bucks as they took on his hometown Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, saying that he wanted to “witness it upfront.”
Jabari is working hard to get back on the floor and preparing his body for the rigors of pro ball, but his future plans don’t sound like those of your typical NBA stud: Parker’s dream is to teach history to middle-schoolers once he hangs up his Nikes for good.
Per the Chicago Tribune:
Shortly after tearing the ACL in his left knee in mid-December, Parker canceled his data plan. He received no text messages for nearly a month. […] “I turned off my phone,” Parker said earlier this week. “I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me. And I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself. (My friends), I told them I took a break. They understood.”
His father Sonny, who moved with wife Lola to Milwaukee before the season, hailed Jabari for his attitude. […] “He doesn’t question why it happened,” Sonny Parker said by phone. “He never got down or depressed. I’m really amazed by how he is dealing with it. He just turned 20; he’s so young. He’s putting in the work and will come back bigger and stronger.” […] “You can’t get around genetics — he’s Polynesian and African-American,” his father said. “He’s a big kid. When he got hurt he was fourth in the NBA in dunks. His body might not look athletic but his game is. He’ll fool you.”
Parker plans to return (to Duke) each summer to earn his degree, even if it takes seven or more years. […] “I have dreams after basketball,” he said. “I want to be a (middle-school) history teacher. I don’t aspire to be the richest man. I just want to give a piece of my knowledge to these kids one day.”