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UNDRAFTED

Jazz Forward Lauri Markkanen to Fulfill Mandatory Military Service

Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen plans on fulfilling his mandatory service time with the Finnish military this offseason, a league source confirmed to The Athletic. The 25-year-old is in the midst of a breakout season, making his first All-Star team and averaging a career-high 25.6 points to go with 8.6 rebounds.

Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen plans on fulfilling his mandatory service time with the Finnish military this offseason, a league source confirmed to The Athletic. The 25-year-old is in the midst of a breakout season, making his first All-Star team and averaging a career-high 25.6 points to go with 8.6 rebounds.


According to Finnish law, all male citizens are required to fulfill their mandatory military service by the time they turn 30. Markkanen grew up in Jyväskylä, Finland, before moving to the United States to attend the University of Arizona. He was selected with the No. 7 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls.


Should Utah’s season end after the regular season, Markkanen will report for his service later this month, he told ESPN. If the Jazz make the playoffs, he would report in July. Entering Thursday, the Jazz are 36-43 and in 12th place in the Western Conference, 1 1/2 games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 10th seed and final spot in the Play-In Tournament.


“I think it sets an example to serve. And I’m confident I can do it in a way that it’s not going to affect my preparation for next season, either,” Markkanen told ESPN. “It’s mandatory, we have to do it, but at the same time we take pride in it, too.”


Markkanen intended on serving after the 2021-22 season, but the Cleveland Cavaliers making the Play-In Tournament conflicted with that plan. He was traded from Cleveland to Utah in September in the deal that sent Donovan Mitchell to the Cavaliers.


Markkanen’s decision to fulfill his mandatory military service demonstrates his commitment to his country and serves as an inspiration for other Finnish citizens. Despite his success in the NBA, Markkanen recognizes the importance of fulfilling his obligations and is determined to do so without sacrificing his preparation for the upcoming season.

Austyn McFadden

@UndraftedNews

April 6, 2023 at 12:00:00 AM

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