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Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Mormon on the cover of Sports Illustrated

Jabari Parker is, according to SI, the most promising high school player since Lebron James. But there is something more important to him than basketball: his faith. When we lived in Chicago, we attended church with him and his family. His mother taught my child in the children's Sunday School for awhile. I watched him grow about a foot during our time there. I remember when his brother Christian came home from serving a 2-year mission in Atlanta. I remember hearing about Jabari's talent on the court and his stardom as a much younger player than his average teammate. Not that you would ever know it from how he acts around other people. As the SI story points out, he doesn't talk himself up and tries to help people around him. It's part of who he is.
The SI article is awesome because it highlights a genuinely wonderful kid in the LDS Church, who also happens to be African American. Read it! It's the kind of story about Mormons you won't see picked up by news media, given their position against Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.

As a follow-up, consider reading Vai's View discussing Jabari, professional Mormon athletes, missionary service, and more. Vai is a fellow Mormon who played in the NFL for years before becoming a TV host and sports writer.

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