2005 Focus: Austin Jackson

When you talk about two-sport stars, Austin Jackson has got to be at or near the top of the list. He's got major college basketball programs interested and could also be a high draft pick on the diamond.

Austin Jackson isn't ready to make the decision whether to give up basketball or baseball just yet. So he won't.

The 6-1, 178-pound Denton Ryan (Texas) High star point guard-center fielder plans to attend college and play basketball and after the school year concludes, he'll take the long bus rides in minor league baseball.

Jackson, 17, just watched his basketball season end short of making the playoffs, which allowed him to suit up for his first baseball game – last night in a tournament.

``It's tough to make the transition, especially from basketball to baseball because my hands are a lot slower," Jackson said.

He averaged 23 points, 6 boards and 3 assists per game as a junior and is more of a point guard despite the fact that he sees some time at the off-guard spot during the summer teaming with fellow Dallas Mustangs floor leader Byron Eaton. Jackson has good court vision, but will have to work on his perimeter shot before he gets to the next level.

``This summer's going to be hard because sometimes I have big baseball tournaments that I have to prepare for, so I don't prepare as much in basketball," Jackson said. "I think about how good I could be if I gave up one of the sports, but I just can't see myself giving up one of them right now."

Jackson said that he's received interest from the likes of Kansas, Illinois, Georgia Tech, UConn, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State for basketball – and hasn't really received much college interest for his exploits on the diamond.

However, there's a good chance that Jackson will be a fairly high pick in the Major League Baseball Draft and he'll try and do something few has been able to accomplish.

Succeed at college basketball while playing minor league baseball. Not an easy task.

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