NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – DJ Jackson isn’t the kind of player who needs outside validation prove that he’s elite, he’s clear that his innate ability to put the ball in the basket is something that can’t be denied.
“I know what I can do, I’m confident in that,” Jackson said. “For me, it’s just about getting the win and the best way I can help to do that is to score.”
He’s done that well for UPlay Canada, averaging 18.7 points, five rebounds and 2.5 assists a game, despite sharing the backcourt with consensus top 10 shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe, who is averaging 28 points a game in his last three at Peach Jam.
“DJ is the type of player that’s gonna score 2,000 points in college,” UPlay founder Dwayne Washington said. “He’s just a scorer. From everywhere. He’s just gifted at putting the ball in the basket. He’s just got the ‘it’ factor.”
Jackson built his reputation as a lethal scorer early on in Canada well before transferring to First Love Christian (Washington, Penn.) last season. During his last season in Canada, Jackson averaged 36 points a game, including multiple 60-plus point games.
He kept up the scoring barrage last season at First Love despite the competition upgrade, pumping in 22 points a game.
“I just have the mentality of a scorer,” Jackson said.
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At 6-foot-4, Jackson has great size, quickness and the versatility that makes his offensive arsenal less predictable and therefore more potent. Jackson’s athleticism and playmaking ability are an underrated aspect of his game, but his motor remains in overdrive, and he plays with supreme confidence.
“I feel like my style of play fits better over here,” Jackson said. “In Canada it’s more controlled, but here it’s gritty and more open. Coming over here and being able to score the ball at this higher level has given me even more confidence. I feel like no one can stop me. A lot of people haven’t seen me, so they don’t know about me like that. It definitely gives me a bigger chip on my shoulder.”
The combination of production and mentality has caught the attention of Oklahoma State, Maryland, Seton Hall and Pittsburgh, among others.
“I like talking to the coaches and all that, but I know that in order to pick up more offers I have to produce,” Jackson said. “I focus on that more than anything. I want to be in a system that’s open and plays fast. I love playing with talented players because it opens up the floor so much better and that’s better for everyone.”