Utah Jazz star Lauri Markkanen to serve in Finland military in the offseason

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Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen revealed his offseason plans after a 2022-23 season: The Finn will return to his home country to fulfill mandatory military service, according to ESPN.

Male citizens of Finland must serve in the country’s military when they turn 30. Finland was just accepted into NATO earlier this week as the region remains in the global spotlight following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I think it’s an example to serve,” Markkanen told ESPN. “And I’m sure I can do it in a way that won’t affect my preparation for next season either.”

The former University of Arizona star made his first NBA All-Star team in 2022-23. He is averaging 25.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in his first season with the Jazz.

Markannen spent his first four NBA seasons with the Chicago Bulls and 2021-22 with the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded to the Jazz as part of the package for star guard Donovan Mitchell last offseason. The Jazz currently sit in 12th place in the Western Conference, 1.5 games out of the Play-In Tournament.

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