Jabari Parker's cousin choosing golf over basketball

calexander@newsobserver.comMay 23, 2014 

— Tony Finau received some basketball offers as a high-school senior in Salt Lake City.

Not as many offers as his first cousin, Duke’s Jabari Parker, but Utah and Utah State were interested in the 6-4 center.

Finau, 24, chose golf over basketball. He’s on the Web.com Tour, competing this week in the Rex Hospital Open at TPC Wakefield Plantation.

Finau said he’s proud of Parker and excited for him heading into the NBA Draft on June 26. Parker, who decided to leave Duke after his freshman season to enter the draft, could be the No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“He’s about to be a millionaire and he’s one of the best basketball players coming out of college for sure,” Finau said, smiling. “It’s been an honor to watch him and see him go through high school and college and now to the NBA.”

Finau averaged 11 rebounds a game as a senior in high school but said, “My heart has always been in golf. I wanted to be a professional golfer since I can remember.”

Finau, who turned pro in 2007, is 38th on the tour money list this year with almost $41,000 and has three top-20 finishes. He opened the Rex with a 67 and had an even-par 71 on Friday.

Parker won’t be at Wakefield this week, Finau said, noting his cousin was back home in Chicago. Nor do the two see each other often.

“But the times when we have talked it’s been nice to not talk about what we do, but about each other,” Finau said.

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