No Rest for Jackson

Just because Athletes First has been on a hiatus during the past few weeks doesn't mean Nino Jackson has been taking it easy.

Those looking for the electric point guard in his native Ardmore, Okla. these days can likely find him on the hardwood somewhere, sweating through another workout.

"We have practice Monday, Tuesday and usually Friday," said Nino Jackson, one of the top floor generals in the Class of 2012. "In between and the days we don't have practice, I still work out. Just on the court drills."

As a prominent member of the Oklahoma City-based Athletes First AAU squad – one of many high-profile teams sponsored by Nike – Jackson has already hit his fair share of tournaments during the summer season. Included among those have been stops in Hampton, Va., Houston and Los Angeles to take part in Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League, at which the team had the chance to test their mettle against some of the top basketball talent in the country.

The team has played fairly well, taking a 7-7 record into the upcoming EYBL finals in North Augusta, S.C.at the annual Peach Jam tournament, and Jackson has made the most of the exposure. He was recently ranked as the No. 41 player in the Class of 2012 by Scout.com, and his recruitment has taken off.

"We've been playing good so far," Jackson said, of the team. "And I've played good. I've blown up this year."

With juniors-to-be now able to receive one phone call a month from college coaches, Jackson has spent his fair share of time on the phone. Among the numerous programs recruiting him, he said five schools in particular are recruiting him the hardest.

"Oklahoma, Baylor, Arkansas, Kansas and Indiana," Jackson said. "Those five are (recruiting him) the most."

From that group, Jackson recently earned his first scholarship offer, after attending camp in Waco, TX with Head Coach Scott Drew and the Bears. At the camp's conclusion, the Baylor head man approached him with some good news.

"It felt really good when he offered me," Jackson said.

For now, Jackson is focused on improving his game and finishing out the summer strong – not thinking about when he'll narrow down his list of potential suitors.

But one thing is for certain: He's just enjoying the ride.

"It's not stressful," he said, of the recruiting process. "It's just fun."

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