Anthony D’Sean Jackson would be the first to tell you that he has a number of short-term goals and ambitions.
Continue to make favorable grades in the classroom.
Continue to fine tune his basketball mechanics during what has been a busy offseason for the Shaw (Mississippi) High basketball standout.
And, most importantly, continue to steadfastly strive to solidify for a college athletic scholarship.
“I have a lot of Division II and III colleges looking at me but none of them contacted me besides the University of Mobile,” Jackson told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I have spoken with them about their school.”
Given the considerable strides he’s made, particularly during an efficient offseason in which he has been afforded the golden opportunity to upgrade his skills in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, chances are Jackson figures to garner some feedback from a number of other schools in the foreseeable future.
A 6-foot-1 swingman who averaged better than 8.1 points per game last season for an Antonio Davis-coached Shaw team that finished 20-9, Jackson in all likelihood will be expected to have a more vital role in what figures to be a banner campaign for a kid that boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the collegiate level.
In meantime, the 17-year-old Jackson has issued a direct, forthright message to those who might perhaps hasten to Shaw this fall to monitor his play.
“I would like recruiters to know that I am a small town kid that is very humble and dedicated to the sport,” Jackson said. “I am a very active and athletic two-way guard that can score the ball and defend as well. I’m welcomed to land anywhere that will accept me as a team player and that I’m willing to give my all to bring my talent to a new environment and home.”
All things considered, if Jackson ultimately fulfills his long-awaited dream of signing a National Letter of Intent to play college basketball, no one would be more appreciative and giddy than his mother, LaShunda Jackson.
A single, supportive mother of three and a native of Shaw, LaShunda Jackson said nothing would be more gratifying than to witness her son select the college of his choice in the coming months.
“I never really engaged in him playing basketball until he was around fifth or sixth grade when a lot of people was telling me that he is a very bright kid for his age and he could take you somewhere far with his talent for basketball,” LaShunda Jackson explained. “Ever since then, I’ve supported him in every event he participated in as his No 1 fan.
According to LaShunda Jackson, there were times in which her son had represented the Jackson household mightily, particularly when she couldn’t make it to his games.
“I didn’t actually believe he was doing big things like people use to say he was doing,” she said. “Every time I didn’t show up at his games, people use to get on me about me not being (there).”
However, whenever mom made her to the gymnasium to watch Shaw play, her son was as good as advertised.
As if there were really any doubts.
“I saw him play for myself and he showed out for me,” LaShunda Jackson. “He didn’t always do his best when I showed up, but I will say he is a competitor.”
Speaking of the competitive drive for which Anthony Jackson is known for exemplifying, that is amongst the key attributes he hopes college scouts will take into account — sooner than later.
“I’m just putting in some grind and always trying to become the best player to play the game,” he said. “I didn’t have it easy growing up and it was hard getting through, but basketball was always there . Now that I’m older, I want to accomplish my dreams of being a very gratifying college player and maybe pushing my game to the NBA.”
Which, after all, is yet another of his lofty goals and ambitions.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.