REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- Vance Jackson started off the Battle of the Beach’s Thursday-night finale with a thunderous dunk, and ended the overtime thriller against the Colorado Hawks with a game-winning three-pointer.
Jackson, at one point, after struggling with his range early on, hit five treys in a row, before missing with an airball late in the second half (“The ball slipped out of my hand, but no excuses,” he said).
“I knew early in the game that I was missing, but usually, I don’t really miss those shots, so I just felt confident that I could make that one,” Jackson said. “It’s been a work in progress. I’m trying to just perfect the three right now.”
The 2016 star claims offers from Washington, Arizona, UCOnn, Arizona State, Gonzaga, UNLV, USC, UCLA and Oregon, with Louisville, Duke and North Carolina coming on strong, but there is one more in-state school making a push for the Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco star: California.
“I like them. I like how they treat you. You feel at home, comfortable,” said Jackson, who saw just about all of his local suitors in attendance at the Battle at the Beach, including the Bears’ Yanni Hufnagel.
“I like them,” Jackson said of Cal. “My old coach from La Salle – Jelani Gardner – he went to Cal, and he was a McDonald’s All-American, so I can learn a lot from him, what the environment was like.”
Jackson is shooting for a 4.0 GPA this coming semester, after getting a 3.0 in the fall of this past year.
Like Gardner, Jackson will come out of Bosco, a school he shares with fellow Brave and current Bears receiver Bryce Treggs.
“That’s my best friend, actually,” Jackson said. “We met when I transferred [after freshman year].”
Treggs, of course, was famous in his last year at Bosco for getting the boot before a basketball game because he was a bit too riled up for the referee’s taste.
“We never really talk about Cal, but we’re buddy-buddy,” said Jackson, who last spoke with Treggs during this past school year.
Jackson has taken unofficials to USC and UCLA, as well as UConn, for the Louisville game. He’s also been out to Tempe for a game. He said he will “most definitely,” visit Cal, and the Bears have to be tickled with that prospect.
The 6-foot-8 small forward is one of the top five wings on Cal’s board for the 2016 class, along with Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic’s Oscar Frayer, Santa Monica (Calif.)’s Jonah Mathews, Phoenix (Ariz.) Shadow Mountain’s Carlos Johnson and Encinitas (Calif.) Torrey Pines shooting guard Brandon Cyrus.
Battle at the Beach: Action Jackson
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