Aaron Jackson Signs With Antalya in Turkey

PITTSBURGH - Aaron Jackson (Hartford, Conn./Worcester Academy), who completed his Duquesne playing career in March, has signed a one-year contract to play basketball professionally with Antalya (än-täl-'yä) of the Turkish Basketball League. Antalya, which competes in the highest classification in Turkish professional basketball, did not release terms of the contract.

Jackson, who worked out for a half dozen NBA teams prior to the June NBA Draft, played for the Indiana Pacers at the Orlando Pro Summer League in early July. He signed the contract on Tuesday morning and will report to his new team on August 20.

"I feel this decision will best help me pursue my dreams and also make me a better basketball player," said Jackson, who finished his career in March as Duquesne's 12th-leading all-time scorer and third-leading assist man. "I've heard a lot of good things about the level of competition in Turkey and I'm looking forward to competing at a high level."

The 6-4 Jackson, who was the first DU player to be named first team All-Atlantic 10 since Mike James in 1998, also earned the A-10 Chris Daniels Award which is presented annually to the league's most improved player this past season. Jackson, who ranked in the top five in seven different Atlantic 10 statistical categories, was also just the 11th player in school history to earn NABC All-District 4 honors.

The Hartford, Conn. native finished his career with 1,428 points, 505 assists and 169 steals in a school record-tying 120 games. He scored in double digits 65 times with 32 coming during a senior year that saw him average 19.3 ppg. He capped his career with a 46-point performance in Duquesne's double-overtime NIT loss at Virginia Tech.

Duquesne increased its win total from 3-24 in Jackson's freshman year to 10-19 his sophomore season, 17-13 in 2007-08 and 21-13 this past season. The 17-13 record in 2008 marked DU's first winning season since 1994 and the 21 victories in 2009 marked Duquesne's first 20-win season since 1981. The 21 wins were also the most by a Dukes team since 1971. Jackson earned a spot on the 2009 All-Atlantic 10 Championship team after leading the Dukes to three wins in three nights and an appearance in the title game for the first time since 1981. DU was rewarded with an NIT bid - marking the school's first post-season appearance since 1994.

Jackson completed his undergraduate degree in psychology in May.

Antalya, which is based on the south Mediterranean coast of Turkey, finished sixth in the 16-team Pro A standings with a 17-13 record this season.

Jackson will be the fifth Ron Everhart-coached Duquesne player to play professionally overseas joining former teammates Kieron Achara (UPIM Fortitudo Bologna - Italy), Reggie Jackson (Newcastle Eagles - Great Britain), Shawn James (Bnei-Hasharon - Israel) and Gary Tucker (Science City Jena - Germany). All but Tucker, who signed earlier this month, competed overseas this past season.