NBA Star Lauri Markkanen Is Going To Have To Join The Finnish Army

Utah Jazz Forward Lauri Markkanen

Getty Image / Alex Goodlett

Lauri Markkanen has been one of the revelations of the NBA season this year. The 25-year-old 7-footer has had a career year this season, making the leap from a nice role player to one of the league’s premier players.

The Arizona product has always had the skills, and those skills made him the seventh overall pick in the 2017 draft out of the University of Arizona.

The Timberwolves traded him to the Bulls on draft night in a trade for Jimmy Butler, and he was a good player in Chicago. His best season was his second season there, when he averaged nearly 19 points a game and 9 rebounds, showing the potential to be a superstar. But, he regressed back to a 15ppg game scorer, and was traded from Chicago to the Cavaliers prior to the 2021-2022 season. The Cavs shipped Lauri Markkanen to the Jazz in the Donovan Mitchell trade. This year, he made the All-Star team as he’s averaged nearly 26 points and 9 rebounds a game for a Jazz team that has surprisingly stayed in contention until the bitter end.

But, Markkanen is Finnish, and the Fins have mandatory military service. Markkanen will have to fulfill that service this summer.

Here are more details, courtesy of ESPN.

Utah Jazz All-Star forward Lauri Markkanen intends to fulfill his mandatory service in the Finnish military this offseason, he told ESPN.

Military service is mandatory for male citizens of Finland and must be completed by age 30.

“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.”

Depending on when Utah’s season ends, he’ll either report for his service April 17 or sometime in July. The base he is scheduled to report to is located in the southern part of Helsinki.

According to the Finnish Federation, “the main task of the Defence Forces’ Sports School is to train reconnaissance squads for emergency and wartime conditions.”

Many of the conscripts who serve at the school are high-level professional or amateur athletes.

“Lauri has always said he was going to do this,” said his longtime agent, Michael Lelchitski. “It’s important for him as a citizen to fulfill his civic duty and not have any kind of preferential treatment just because he is a famous athlete.”

Hopefully Markkanen stays safe and comes back next year even stronger.

Garrett Carr BroBible avatar
Garrett Carr is a recent graduate of Penn State University and a BroBible writer who focuses on NFL, College Football, MLB, and he currently resides in Pennsylvania.