Justin Jackson's Journal

Prior to enrolling at UNC later this week, Justin Jackson has authored his final journal entry at InsideCarolina.com.

I'm Prepared
Posted by Justin on June 10, 2014

I can't believe it's finally here.

After all the years of hard work with my coaches, days in the gym with my teammates and hours on the road with my family, I'm so proud to say I'm moving into my dorm at the University of North Carolina on Friday.

That it's really about to happen, honestly, is surreal.

High school graduation was about a month ago and I'd like to say that I've just been relaxing since then, but I haven't. I do strength and conditioning work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and then I work with coach John Lucas on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I like to get my work done in the morning so I can hang out the rest of the day.

Working with Coach Lucas has been awesome. I've learned a bunch of stuff from him. He's succeeded at the highest level in high school, college and in the NBA. I think learning more basketball terminology, how to truly play offense and spacing have been my biggest takeaways from him.

After we do skill work, we play pickup. There have been a lot of guys going to the NBA Draft that have stopped through, like C.J. Fair from Syracuse, plus college players like the Harrison twins from Kentucky. The competition has been some of the best I've ever played against.

It's definitely helped me with my mindset. These guys have been through - some of them for four years - the stuff I'm about to go through. For me to be able to hold my own against them, that's definitely a confidence booster. It shows that if I go in with the right mindset, I can hang with college players.

As far as the skill work, I can't say I've worked on one particular thing. Instead, Coach Lucas has helped me realize that my shot is my biggest weapon. Everything I do has to be around or based off of it. People say you should be able to put the ball on the floor and score. Well, for me, I have to be able to shoot. If people guard my shot, then I can use it to create offense and get the ball to my teammates.

Also, going against some of the athletic guards and smaller point guards during pickup has helped my ball handling and I've learned how to keep them from getting into my body.

Last week my family threw a going-away party for me. It was supposed to be a surprise but word got out. I was able to see a lot of people I probably won't see for a pretty long time.

Leaving my family certainly isn't going to be easy, in fact it's going to be hard. But my sister, Jordan, is going to UNC's girls camp and my brother, Jonathan, is going to UNC's boys camp. My family is going to be up in Chapel Hill with me for a couple of weeks. So, even though I won't see them a ton, they won't be far away.

The hardest part for me is going to be returning to school in August, knowing I won't see them for a while. But I think I'm prepared for college. I'm used to managing my free time, knowing when to study and do work and having my own discipline.

It's going to be so much fun.

Joel, Theo and I are going to do our best to help the team out and, hopefully, make a long run next season. All we can do is our best and give everything we have.

I committed to UNC more than a year ago. Since then I've tried to update you on my life and basketball in this journal. This is my last entry so I wanted to say thank you for reading.

Meeting and talking with some of you at tournaments and events, and on social media, has been great. You all are the best fans in the world.

See you in October,

Previous Entries
May 1, 2014 - The All-Star Experience
Mar. 26, 2014 - Holding Heads High
Feb. 25, 2014 - The Craziest Environment
Jan. 10, 2014 - Road Trip to Carolina
Nov. 13, 2013 - Signing Day
Oct. 15, 2013 - Home-Schooled
Sept. 3, 2013 - Summer 'Vacation'
June 6, 2013 - Gaining A Future Teammate
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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