Jabari Parker shares this thanks and goodbye with Duke fans

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

The Jabari Parker era at Duke will always have a bitter ending: that brutal Round of 64 loss -- as a three seed -- to No. 14 Mercer.

But Parker had a great year at Duke, earning first-team All-America honors and keeping Duke near the top of the sport for yet another year.

With pre-draft camp beginning next week and classes having wrapped up on campus, Parker's moving out of his Durham digs and prepping in full for the pros. He took one final stroll through Cameron Indoor recently and shared the empty-gym photo on Instagram, as well as a goodbye note of thank-yous.

"Finally found the time to get to it so I'll start here," Parker writes. "Last summer I spent countless nights walking across this floor, looking at the banners of the players/coaches responsible for this great program. Then I look off over into the stands, home to some of the best fans. Lastly, I walk over to our team's bench, dreaming of the moment when they call out "A 6'8 freshman from Chicago, IL." When that moment came it blessed my life.

"To live your dream, being apart of a family that stands up for each other, representing a program that's more than any single person. The DUKE basketball program takes a team to be successful on a daily basis. I knew from H.S. that I wanted to be apart of a program that was going to need every single person. Duke didn't need JP, JP needed Duke. After the season, I go sit in the highest seats in the building aka "the nest". There I remember all the good moments I had playing on coach K court. As soon as I'm done with that, I walk out into the hallway looking at the players before me, hoping that I could be one of those guys too.

"To end, I want to thank everyone who embraced me into the Duke family. Especially the fans, I appreciate you for sticking up for a university that hold about 11,000 students (if that). I'm no #AntiUNC, but I'm #ProDuke. To everyone out in Carolina, thank you for the best hospitality in the world. I never met so many nice people before. I will miss you Cameron indoor, Cameron Crazies, the team, the coaches, but most of all, those little people who contribute to Duke in the biggest ways."

Parker is picked to go second in two of the three CBSSports.com mock drafts.

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