Justin Jackson's Journal

Future Tar Heel Justin Jackson updates his path to Chapel Hill with regular journal entries at InsideCarolina.com leading up to his enrollment. In his newest entry, Jackson provides an update on summer ball and discusses the addition of a new future teammate.

Gaining A Future Teammate
Posted by Justin on June 6, 2013

A lot has happened since my last entry. The AAU and camp season continues as I strive to get better each and every day, the EYBL regular season is over and I gained a future teammate.

First, I'm so proud of the way my team, Houston Hoops, has played this year. Everyone on the team is buying into what our coach wants us to do and it's showing. We're tied for the best record in the league at 16-2 and will travel to Augusta, Georgia in about a month to try and bring home a title.

That's what we've all been working for and it would mean a lot to us to say we're the 2013 EYBL Champions. Individually, it sounds simple but my main goal is to just be better tomorrow than I was today. That's really it.

As I mentioned, I gained a future teammate last month when Theo Pinson committed to UNC. First off, congratulations again to Theo. I've known him for a while and knew we were pretty high on his list. When he committed, I didn't immediately go text or call him, I figured he had a lot of media interviews and family stuff to get done.

We really first talked about his commitment up at the EYBL event in Minnesota a couple of weeks ago. There, me, him and Joel Berry really connected and talked. We text some back and forth and have gotten pretty close.

When we text it's mostly just seeing how each other is doing. We talk about how we can't wait to get to Chapel Hill, how we want to push each other and get better every day. We don't talk a lot of basketball, just normal stuff for guys our age.

But when we do talk basketball it's great that we're already of the same mindset – winning. That's one of things I like a lot about those guys, all they want to do is win a championship. Some people might say it's a little farfetched for us to be talking about winning a championship in college when we haven't started our senior year in high school yet, but that's our stated goal.

Personality wise, again, I think we're a pretty good fit. All three of us know how to joke around, but we can also get serious when it's needed. We're all pretty quiet on the court as well. We're not the leaders who will yell at people and talk 24/7 but when things need to be said with emphasis, we'll do it.

A day or two after Theo committed, I talked to Coach Williams on the way home from practice. He was real excited about having the three of us already committed. He said that he'd use about 75 percent of his time to in July to watch us and then some younger guys as well. He's really excited and said he wants us to come in and make an impact right away.

My conversations with Coach Williams are generally between us, but I'm not sure if they're still looking for another wing in our class or not. One thing he said is that he was really set with us three.

If they do though, I'd welcome it. When you get to college, it's completely different from high school. In high school, you want to be the guy, but when you get to college winning a national championship is the focus. The more talent you have, the better the competition at practice and the better chance you have at winning. That's what I want.

Over the next month, I'll spend a lot of time at individual camps. Next week, I'm leaving for NBPA Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia. I've never been there before, but I've heard great things about it and am looking forward to it. After NBPA, I'll go to Chapel Hill and participate in Carolina's camp. I might not play the first day, but I'll definitely play during the final few days.

Mostly, we're going for my 12-year-old brother Jonathan. We want him to get a chance to get out there and play. He can really shoot, watch out for him.

I'm excited to see what it's going to be like at camp. Anytime I go back to UNC, it's going to feel a lot different than it did before I committed. I guess for me, I'm not a guy that loves all the attention so I'm sort of hoping I can just go in there and play… we'll see.

After UNC, if I'm lucky enough to be invited, I'll participate in the Kevin Durant and LeBron James skills camps and hopefully the Nike Global Challenge.

Almost a year until I move into my dorm at UNC. Thinking about that is a bit surreal. I'll have more thoughts on it in my next blog.

Previous Entries
April 17, 2013 - 'AAU Ball'
April 1, 2013 - 'UNC Basketball Camp'
March 13, 2013 - 'My First Week As A Tar Heel'

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