Four-star forward Jaren Jackson is seeing the regular season of his junior year coming to an end. It has been an up and down year for Park Tudor, but following a blowout win on Wednesday night, it looks like the Panthers might be turning the corner, and Jackson is focusing on helping his teammates win a state title while keeping an eye on recruiting.
“I think we have matured as a team and everybody is starting to find their role,” said Jackson. “We have played a tough schedule, and I think we have lost a few games we shouldn’t have, but it prepares us well for March, and helps me get better by facing hard double teams and things like that.”
He continued, “It is great to be a leader and have everybody buy in. Everybody has their role, and it is my job to teach the players who don’t know what we stand for as a program and what we do to win.”
On the recruiting trail Jackson has accumulated offers from schools such as Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Illinois, Xavier, Georgetown, Maryland, Butler, and others.
With so much interest, Jackson is just trying to weigh all of his options, but recently he hasn’t had a chance to make any visits.
“I have been pretty wrapped up in Park Tudor basketball so I haven’t seen any games recently, but I will get back out and take some visits when I have time,” said Jackson.
One school that has long been tied to Jackson is Georgetown. Both of his parents attended the school, and Jackson says he is building a strong relationship with the staff.
“I talk to Coach (John) Thompson and Coach (Tavaras) Hardy all the time,” said Jackson. “They say how they like me, and Coach Thompson tells me all the time how he needs me at Georgetown, so it is great talking to them. They have had some tough losses this year in the Big East, but I know they will get it together.”
While he is a Georgetown legacy, that doesn’t mean Jackson is disregarding Maryland. In fact at this point Jackson has shown significant interest in the Terrapins program.
“It just a school recruiting me like any other,” said Jackson of Maryland. “I like Maryland a lot. The whole Maryland/Georgetown thing doesn’t matter to me. Maryland is a great is a school and I like the coaches, so it is great to hear from them.”
Another school that has made him a priority is Michigan State. The Spartans have been in to see him several times this year, and Jackson likes how they play.
“I like their playing style,” noted Jackson. “Their big guys play around the rim and also play in pick and pop. I think it is a great system that Coach (Tom) Izzo has, and they always show toughness which is something that is important to me.”
For now Jackson says he and his parents want to take their time with the process and learn as much as possible about all of the schools before making any kind of decision.