Jackson Looking Forward to Elite Camp

Some of the nation's top hoops talent graced the hardwood in Houston last weekend for a Nike Elite Youth Basketball League event, but for Kansas fans it was a seemingly inconspicuous off-the-court news blip that drew the most interest.

Nino Jackson's name is a hot one in the Class of 2012. A native of the Sooner State, the 6-foot-1 Jackson has been billed as a lightning-quick point guard able to get his teammates involved and score with equal effectiveness.

Stepping off the floor after a Saturday game in Houston with his AAU squad, Athletes First, he shed his basketball kicks for sandals – and Scout.com national recruiting analyst Dave Telep happened to notice his socks.

Socks emblazoned with the Jayhawk mascot of the University of Kansas.

Combine that with Jackson's follow-up comments that the Jayhawks were his "team," and Kansas fans were suddenly sitting up and taking notice.

"Those are just my lucky socks I wear," the Ardmore (OK) product told Scout.com on Monday, with a chuckle.

While the weekend didn't start off well for Athletes First – the team opened the EYBL's second regular-season event 0-2 – Jackson and his teammates picked it up on Saturday by closing out play with a pair of wins.

Here's what Telep had to say about Jackson's play in Houston:

"First impressions are big over here at Scout.com and we like this guy. Here's the checklist: athletic, leaper, jet to the rim, decent shooter. His shot selection could be tightened up but his physical attributes rate high and he's got some JV Myck Kabongo in his game."

Able to play either guard spot, Jackson professes a preference for the point guard position for the versatility it affords him.

"I just like the way I can get my teammates involved out on the court," he said.

Though the summer has yet to officially arrive, the AAU season is already in full swing. Athletes First will play at a host of tournaments in the coming weeks, but Jackson will have a chance to showcase his individual skills against some of the best prospects in the country next month, at Head Coach Bill Self's Elite Camp later this month.

The Jayhawks were his favorite team growing up, he said, and like many others he picked them to emerge victorious from the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

Now, he's excited for the chance to show the KU coaches what he can do in person.

"I can't wait for that," Jackson said, of the elite camp. "I'm just going to try and show up and do good, and get recognized."

Jackson and Athletes First will join a talented field this weekend in Kansas City for the Kansas City Classic. In addition to Kansas, he named Oklahoma, Oregon, Missouri, Tennessee, Baylor and Indiana among his suitors at this early stage in his recruitment – though none have extended offers as of yet.

Jackson hopes to make a decision sometime during his junior year.

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