MDAA: One on one with Frank Jackson

Duke commit Frank Jackson sits down with TDD to discuss this week's all-star festivities in Chicago as well as his future in Durham.

CHICAGO -- One of the standout players of the 2016 McDonald's All-American festivities was Frank Jackson. 

The future Blue Devil guard opened some eyes across the country by winning the dunk contest on Monday night and also winning MVP honors in the game on Wednesday as he joined elite company like Shabazz Muhammad, LeBron James, Ronald Curry and Jerry Stackhouse as the only players to accomplish both at the McDonald's Game.

Jackson finished with 19 points for the game as he went 5-for-7 from 3-point range in helping his West team win 114-107.

"It's been great. It's definitely an honor to be here," Jackson told TDD. "It's something that I've always dreamed about. It's hit every expectation. The people have been great and the competition is even better."

Going into the week, Jackson probably wasn't one of the names that was expected to win multiple honors at the McDonald's game, but he's just happy the hard work during his high school career has paid off.

"I felt like I [had a chance to win] but I don't think anybody else did," Jackson said. "I know I enjoyed it. To be able to compete with the guys who were in it and win is a big deal. It was a lot of fun."

The dunk contest win, in particular, seemed to catch a lot of people off-guard as Twitter was filled comments about Jackson's impressive dunks. As one of the first times Jackson has played in front of a national audience, it surprised many to see how athletic he was.

"People that don't know me, yeah, sure [they were surprised]," Jackson said of the dunk contest. "People that know me know that I like to dunk and I'm a little bit bouncy. But I'm pretty sure I surprised some people last night."

Jackson has competed and won in dunk contests before, but the McDonald's stage and the competition he was going against made the win that much more impressive. Other competitors like Malik Monk, Josh Jackson and Terrance Ferguson all have big reputations as great dunkers, so Frank beat some elite competition to capture this title.

"I've won a couple in the past years locally and I was over in Dubai two summers ago and won that. It's fun, it's something I like to do," Jackson said. "It was definitely the best one I've been apart of. Those are some of the best dunkers in the world, even though they're in high school. Some of those dudes are crazy. I was just happy I was able to win." 

With the McDonald's festivities behind him, Jackson begins a busy stretch where he heads to Portland for the Nike Hoop Summit next week and then follows that up with the Jordan Brand Classic in New York. 

"It's going to be pretty hectic, I'm going to be gone a lot," Jackson said. "But it's definitely worth it in the long run. I'm just looking forward to the experience and the time I have with all of these guys."

Once the all-star circuit finishes up, Jackson will start to focus on his college career, which is something he's very much looking forward to. During the season, Jackson said he spoke to Duke assistant coach Jon Scheyer on a daily basis and also kept in touch with players on the roster like Grayson Allen, Chase Jeter and Luke Kennard.

Jackson is working on making sure that his game is polished on both ends of the floor so that he can come in and help right away.

"Just be consistent, both on offense and on defense. Always working hard, always playing defense and being the teammate that everybody wants me to be," Jackson said. "I'm looking to come in and be a benefit right away. Of course, I have a lot of work to do, but I just want to be a factor right away."

But first, Jackson has to finish up school and get to campus. After graduating from Lone Peak High School in a few months, Jackson will be heading to Durham to start his college career.

"I start school July 3rd," Jackson said. "So I leave the end of June. I move out there and start July 3rd. I'm pumped. I can't wait to get out there."


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