A league source has confirmed to The Athletic that Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen plans to fulfill his mandatory service time with the Finnish Army in the off-season. Here’s what you need to know:
Markkanen, 25, is in the midst of a breakout season, making his first All-Star team and averaging a career high 25.6 points to go close to 8.6 rebounds.
Finland requires its male citizens to perform compulsory military service upon reaching the age of 30.
If Utah’s season ends after the regular season, Markkanen will report on his service later this month, he told ESPN. If the Jazz make the playoffs, they will report in July.
Entering Thursday, the Jazz are 36-43 and in 12th place in the West, 1 1/2 games behind the Thunder for the 10th seed and last place in the Play-In Tournament.
GO DEEPER I ENJOY THE CHALLENGE: Lauri Markkanen learns how to be a top pick in Utah
Markkanen grew up in Jyväskylä, Finland, before moving to the United States to attend Arizona State. He was selected with the #7 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Bulls.
The forward had intended to serve after the 2021-22 season, but the Cavaliers making the play interfered with that plan.
“It’s mandatory, we have to do it, but at the same time we’re also proud of it,” Markkanen told ESPN. “I think it sets an example of service.
“Friendly food junkie. Lifelong introvert. Student. Avid coffee scholar. Unapologetic travel specialist. Zombie buff.”
Texas beats Miami to claim its regional title in the NCAA baseball tournament
Morikawa withdraws from Memorial due to back spasms
The Dodgers put Trayce Thompson on the 10-day injured list