The law in Finland requires all men from the country to go through military service by the time they turn 28 years old. This law applies to athletes, as well, which means Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lauri Markkanen is expected by the country to complete his required service time.
Markkanen was one of 98 athletes from across 20 different sports who were included in the Finnish Defense Forces Sports School list, according to BasketNews. His inclusion on the list indicates he may be called upon to serve in Finland’s military in 2022. The 24-year-old was born in Vantaa, Finland, and grew up in the country.
Lauri Markkanen has been included in the Finnish military service list. Does Army await him? 👀https://t.co/QSJHYPlUw2
— BasketNews (@BasketNews_com) December 8, 2021
Finland’s military service is set to get started on April 12, 2022, just one day after the 2021-22 NBA regular season comes to an end. Athletes are required to take part in military service training for no less than 165 days, which could put Markkanen’s status for the start of the 2022-23 season in jeopardy.
Because Markannen is a professional athlete, he will be serving in a specialized ‘Sports School’ which is designed to help him maintain his basketball training while also serving his country.
The details of Markannen’s potential service time remain unclear, and there’s a chance he can avoid having to go through with it altogether. Still, it’s certainly something to keep an eye on for Cavs fans this offseason.
Markannen is in his first year with the Cavaliers, having signed a four-year, $67 million deal. Across 16 games this season, Markkanen is averaging 14.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game, while knocking down 2.4 threes per game at a 40.6% clip.