Lauri Markkanen Will Spend His Off-Season Doing His Military Service In Finland
Lauri Markkanen has made a big impact on the Utah Jazz in his first season with the team. The 7-foot power forward, who was acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the off-season, has brought a much-needed scoring presence to the Jazz frontcourt.
In his first year in Utah, Markkanen is averageing 25.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, while making 50% of his shots. He has also shot a solid 39% from three-point range, making him a dangerous stretch four for opponents to defend. Markkanen’s shooting ability has opened up the floor for the rest of the Jazz offense, and he has consistently provided a scoring punch.
As he continued to develop and improve, Markkanen was named and NBA All-Star for the first time in his career, where he even got to be one of the started.
While he is also destined to make an All-NBA team and become the league’s MIP this year, his summer will look much different from his fellow NBA stars, as he intends to fulfill his mandatory military service in Finland.
“It’s mandatory, we have to do it, but at the same time we take pride in it, too,” said Markkanen, 25. “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…
…Of course I’d rather be working out like I normally do [in the offseason], but I’ve heard they do a good job of combining the two. You’re able to do your job working as an athlete and your basic training at the same time.”