Jackson Makes It Official
“Really, what was going through my mind while I was signing was just, wow! This is real. The reality hit me. I mean of course I committed, but you know, when I committed nothing was finalized. Anything could be taken away at anytime. Not that I’m saying it would, but given the reality anything could be taken away at any time when I just committed, because nothing was on paper. But today when I signed my name on that dotted line, that solidified it. Like I’m a Red Raider and I’m going to play for coach Tubby, so it was an exciting feeling.”
Other than Jackson, there was one more signing for the Red Raiders Wednesday. According to the 6-foot-3 Texas native, him and C.J. Williamson are already on the same wavelength.
“It was crazy. We texted each other at the exact same time saying ‘congrats’ to each other, saying how excited we are to be able to play ball with each other. We actually were talking about being roommates. We were talking about how we were going to decorate our dorm and stuff like that.”
It was certainly an emotional day. All the coaches contacted Jackson in one way or another. His father attended the signing. Many other relatives, including grandparents, were on hand. Of course, like many mothers, Jackson’s is no different in showing some watery emotion through the eyes.
“My mom couldn’t make it down from Chicago, because she’s coaching. But yeah, I talked with both of them today. I talked to my mom on the phone and she was crying and so happy because I just grew up all of a sudden to her, because that’s a mom and you know how moms are going to act.”
Many Tech fans place Jackson’s mother on a pedestal considering she led the Lady Raiders to the school’s only team national championship in 1993. For those who have not kept up with Jackson’s recruitment, his mother is Lady Raider icon Sheryl Swoopes. Jackson does not want to be the male version of his mom and has made it clear several times, but he does respect her legacy and will honor it on the court.
“I’ve got two numbers that I want to wear next year in my head, and that’s 22 and seven.”
Many Tech fans understand where thee 22 comes from. It is currently raised from the ceiling as a retired number for Lady Raider basketball in the United Supermarkets Arena. However, the number seven is just as special, if not greater.
“It still has a little bit of my mom in it, but it’s not her exact 22 number, if you know what I mean. Like she has the number 22 hanging up in the gym. The seven is the Olympic number, so I think we can go with either the seven or the 22, I haven’t fully decided yet.”
There’s more to Jackson’s potential future legacy than replicating his mother though. The Tech signee has big plans for Red Raider basketball, including Big 12 Championships and national championships.
“I’m going there because of playing for a coach who can get the best out of me and to be able to play on a team that can make a run at an NCAA championship.”
Jackson plans to arrive on campus in June. St. Pius X is currently 4-0 and won the Laredo St. Augustine Tournament championship during the weekend. St. Pius X is known to make some great athletes and Jackson is no different.
“My freshman year, I want to come in and be able to contribute. I know I’m going to be a young guy on the team, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help. I’m really looking forward to being able to get there and obviously get better and learn from coach Tubby and take it all in my freshman year, because I’m going to be there and my sophomore year, I’m going to have to take it up even more and after that, even more.”
Texas Tech basketball has not been invited to a national postseason tournament since 2009. The Red Raiders have not been selected to the NCAA field since 2007. The 6-foot-3 Texas native believes the tide is about to turn.
“Last year, I watched on tv. I’d see all the guys playing on tv in the NCAA Tournatment and I thought to myself ‘Man, I want to be there’ and playing for coach Tubby with the team that we would have next year, I feel like we would have a good chance at doing that.”