Elite point guard focused on two

It's been a long spring and summer of AAU basketball for Nino Jackson, filled with travel and tournaments across the country, but he doesn't seem to mind.

In the past few months the speedy point guard from Ardmore, Okla. has seen himself become one of the hottest prospects in the Class of 2012. That's the sort of thing likely to take the edge off any young hoopster's fatigue.

"This was one of the best summers I've ever had," Jackson said. "It was a great summer. I showed all my talent and skills to the college scouts, and I guess I did good this summer because the letters (from college programs) come in the mail every day."

Playing with a trio of teams – Athlete's First, the Oklahoma Hawks and, most recently, the OKC Suns – the Oklahoma native started to make a name for himself at early-season events in the inaugural Nike Elite Youth Basketball League. Though somewhat slightly built physically at this stage in his development, Jackson is perhaps the most explosive athlete in the class, possessed not only of fantastic leaping ability, but elite level speed, quickness and coordination to go along with it.

It wasn't until July, however, that Jackson became a household name. In front of virtually every major college coach in the country at the Great American Shootout in Duncanville, Texas, he put on a show – dazzling talent scouts and coaching staffs alike with his abilities.

Known for attacking the rim and finishing with highlight-reel dunks, Jackson has worked hard to improve not only his all-around offensive game, but his defense as well. With his long wingspan and lateral quickness, he became a terror in the passing lanes as the summer progressed.

The offers soon began to pour in, first from Baylor, then from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and, most recently, Oklahoma State. Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Miami and North Carolina are also showing interest.

While the recruiting process becomes taxing for some, Jackson is managing to enjoy the ride.

"It's been fun," he said. "(College programs are) still recruiting me hard, and it's interesting. Some coaches will tell me that I would start as a freshman; they think that I would be the leading scorer as a freshman at their school. That kind of stuff surprises me, because I don't think I'm that good yet."

As for a potential decision, Jackson indicated he would wait until after his junior season at Ardmore High School – though he has essentially narrowed his list down to a top two.

"OU and Kansas," he said. "That's just what I'm thinking about right now. Kansas isn't too far from home and OU is just right up the street."

The Jayhawks have long been considered the presumptive favorite to obtain Jackson's services, as he has grown up a Kansas fan and even sported gear bearing the school's name and logo at tournaments this summer.

He stays in touch with Head Coach Bill Self and the Kansas coaching staff frequently, he said, most recently with a phone conversation Monday Night.

"He really wanted me to keep KU on my mind," Jackson said, of Self. "I'm always thinking about the Jayhawks."


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