Lauri Markkanen Loses Locks With Haircut Ahead Of Military Service
Apr 15, 2023, 3:47 PM | Updated: 3:51 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen received a haircut ahead of participating in military service for his native country of Finland.
On Saturday, April 15, the NBA All-Star posted a photo of his new hairstyle.
The Jazzman lost his curly locks in favor of a buzzed hairdo.
“Curls will be back,” Markkanen captioned a photo of his haircut.
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Markkanen will fulfill his requirement to serve time in the Finnish military this summer. During the Jazz’s season finale, the forward told ESPN that he would begin his service in mid-April.
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According to ESPN, military service is mandatory for Finnish men and must be completed by the time they’re 30 years old.
The soon-t0-be 26-year-old told ESPN he’ll use this summer to fulfill his duties.
“It’s mandatory, we have to do it, but at the same time we take pride in it, too,” Markkanen told ESPN. “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.”
Utah's @MarkkanenLauri to fulfill mandatory military service in Finland this offseason. "I think it sets an example to serve,” he told ESPN. “And I'm confident I can do it in a way that it's not going to affect my preparation for next season.” https://t.co/zd3mdejv1z
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) April 6, 2023
It’s a significant change from Markkanen’s summer last year when he had a breakout performance at the EuroBasket tournament.
Playing for the Finnish national team, Markkanen averaged 28 points and eight rebounds during the tournament, including a 43-point outing in an upset over Croatia.
“Of course, I’d rather be working out like I normally do [in the offseason],” Markkanen told ESPN. “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.”
In an article from BasketNews published in 2021, “Professional athletes are designated to serve in a special ‘Sports School’ unit that is meant to help athletes train while completing their military service.”
It added, “The shortest military service to be fulfilled for an athlete is 165 days.”
Markkanen finished his first season in Utah averaging 25.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 34.4 minutes per game. He shot 49.9 percent overall (career-high) and 39.2 percent on three-pointers. Markkanen posted per-game career bests in minutes played, points, and assists. Markkanen played in 66 games for the Jazz in the 2022-23 season and was named an NBA All-Star for the first time.
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