"The team is coming along," said Simmons. "We have had a different line up in every tournament we have played which is a bit tough but we will be ready when it counts. As far as my individual play, I think I am improving each week. My confidence is building up and I am having a lot of fun."
So far this AAU season, Simmons is averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds per game. Last weekend at the Tournament of Champions, Simmons averaged over 14 points and 8 boards per contest -- but don't think Simmons will get complacent about his play.
"For me, the biggest thing is confidence. A lot of people have told me the skills are there and I just needed to play with more confidence. Last weekend was a big step for me. I am also working on my face-up game and extending my range. I've also been in the weight room working on getting stronger and increasing my stamina."
Simmons is already getting interest from many Division I programs including Wake Forest. "I am hearing from N.C. State, Wake Forest, Western Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Xavier, Auburn, and William & Mary," he said.
So what does Simmons think of Wake? "They are an ACC school and I really think they are on the way to being an elite team. The university, city, tie-dye nation and coaching staff are all great. The staff has always been very nice to me. The players have been great to me as well. It really is a family first university and team. They are really high on my list."
One thing you will notice while watching Jackson Simmons play is his effort. Simmons is not only a skilled power forward prospect, but he plays with high energy and loves to compete. He always seems to be around the ball and simply outworks other players.
"My coaches say I have always played that way," said Simmons, "Each possession in a game is an important one. I watch players like Tyler Hansbrough and how he doesn't take plays off. I really think playing with toughness and desire can take you a long way."
With his passion for the game and desire to get better, look for Jackson Simmons to go a long way.