Jackson Takes Home MCDAA MVP Award

CHICAGO -- North Carolina signee Justin Jackson capped his high school career with co-MVP honors at the McDonald's All-American Game on Wednesday night at the United Center.

Jackson scored 23 points and added five rebounds in what is universally regarded as the nation's most prestigious all-star event for preps.

"I just tried to go in and have fun and work as hard as I could and do the little things to help us win," Jackson said following the game. "We ended up coming out short. I'm just happy I was able to get [the MVP]."

Throughout his high school career, Jackson has been known for his efficiency on the court. It was no different on Wednesday, as he finished 11-for-14 from the field.

"For me, I like to let the game come to me and I like to get easy shots before I start to take hard shots to get my rhythm," he said. "I tried to get out there, get a few lay ups, a few floaters and then my jump shot came."

Did Jackson foresee winning the MVP trophy?

"I really didn't," Jackson responded. "I figured it would be a huge blessing. I just tried to go in and work hard. I'm definitely blessed."

Jackson was solid throughout the week in practices and scrimmages. The 6-foot-8 lengthy wing shot the ball well from mid-range and flashed his go-to floater.

"Obviously every time you step on the court with this caliber of guys you have to play your ‘A' game or else they are going to kill you," he said. "I figured I may as well go out and play hard. I thought I played pretty well."

Jackson said sharing this experience with his future teammates – Joel Berry and Theo Pinson - was an exciting part of the experience.

"It's always fun," Jackson said. "Joel and Theo, they are great guys and great players obviously being in the game. It's always fun to be able to be with them."

Berry (7 points, 4 assists) and Pinson (3 points, 3 assists) showed flashes coming off the bench.

The 2014 trio of incoming freshmen will enroll at UNC in two and a half months.

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