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Archive for Thursday, February 15, 2007

Talk helps Jackson

KU junior, coach have heart-to-heart

February 15, 2007

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— So distraught he didn't know if he'd be able to continue playing basketball, Darnell Jackson sought out a person he could trust for a heart-to-heart talk last Christmas season.

That would be his coach, Bill Self.

"I cried, and he hugged me," Jackson, Kansas University's junior forward from Oklahoma City, said. "He said God makes these things happen for a reason. Everything that happens is for a reason.

"Coach Self really helped me. I don't really have a male figure in my life. I really appreciate what he did for me," Jackson added after grabbing 11 rebounds and scoring four points in KU's 75-46 victory over Colorado on Wednesday at Coors Events Center.

What Self did was listen to Jackson talk about much heartache in his young life.

Darnell's mother was seriously injured and his grandmother died from injuries sustained in a car wreck in Las Vegas after his freshman year. Also, his uncle died, his grandfather died and his cousin and best friend were murdered - "killed by a semiautomatic," Jackson said - the past year.

"Ever since I got here, stuff has been falling in my lap, ups and downs," said Jackson, who also has battled a back injury that sometimes makes it difficult even to get out of bed.

"It eats you up inside. I was holding it all in until Christmas break when coach talked to me."

Self said he has been quite pleased with Jackson lately and indeed noticed the player has been competing with a freer mind since Christmas.

"We had a great meeting," Self said. "He was down over personal issues. He keeps things bottled up. Sometimes he needs to talk. I have great respect for Darnell and his family. He has been through so much. I really like the kid. I like the kid."

Jackson said he has made a concerted effort to play harder since the last Colorado game when Self called his big men "soft."

"Nobody likes to be called that word. I decided to try to get in position, rebound, bang, do what it takes to help us win," Jackson said.

Jackson says he has big goals for the rest of the season, notably helping KU win Big 12 and national titles. Self simply hopes Jackson is able to continue contributing in a big way despite all his hardships.

"I am proud of him," Self said. "He's gone through a lot more than I know I have gone through, and I've lived twice as long as he has. He's had heartache thrown his way. I don't know if I was his age I could cope with what has come his way."

Comments

plumberscrack 7 years, 2 months ago

Leprechaunking13 is just another person who doesn't know a damn thing about basketball. Have you EVER played competitive basketball??

So what, that Kaun has been playing basketball only 5 yrs...it shows! As far as Darnell starting earlier in the season and played better coming off the bench means absolutely nothing!! A lot of players played poorly early on and now are playing better, so do they just stay reserve for this? Again, you must not have EVER played competitive basketball?! With you're kind of thinking, i'm sure you are happy to just make the post season tournament and say "Ahhh, shucks" when we lose in the first round, huh?

As far as who is a 'power forward' and who's a 'center' is old school, pal. The traditional 2 guards, 2 forwards and 1 center is outdated.(Just like KU uses a 3 guard offense, so we really have 3 guards and 2 forwards offense) With teams that like to run; like KU does, doesn't use traditional 'center'. 'Centers' are for teams that HAVE and USE a half court offense, which this KU team doesn't do. So, to have a "power forward" like Jackson does make this team run smoother, better and for the Jayhawks to go far into the tournament, Kaun will have sit more than he does and Jackson will have to see MORE TIME (If not start, if his back will hold up) for us to do this! Kaun will only hurt us in March when we play top quality teams night in and night out! Shady Athur will ALSO have to see MORE PLAYING TIME if KU wants to go further in the tournament. This means Kaun sits and the team rolls!!!

Maybe in another 5 yrs Leprechaunking13, you'll know as much about basketball as Sasha Kaun does?!

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Dambudzo 7 years, 2 months ago

Posted by plumberscrack (anonymous) on February 15, 2007 at 12:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sasha Kaun is terrible for a 'big man'. He doesn't rebound that well. He definitely can't shoot well and adds too many turnovers due to 'bad hands'.

He's just not Athletic enough. If only he was Athletic like the rest of the starters. I don't think we should have any Non-Athletes on the team. The more Athletes the better. Also, I think that if we had an Athlete for a head coach, the team would better relate to him. I have never figured out how a Non-Athletic coach could relate with and Athletic player.

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Leprechaunking13 7 years, 2 months ago

Plumber you don't know what you are talking about evidently, Darnell started at the beginning of the season he plays much better off the bench. The thing is that this team has so many starting lineups that to tweak it every time one player steps up would be rediculous. Also Sasha has been playing for how long? 5 years? yeah not very long considering that Darnell has been playing 15 years longer than Sasha. OH and Sasha has 3 inches of height on Darnell to make Sasha a ......CENTER and Darnell a POWER FORWARD, so the person to replace Sasha would be Darrell not Darnell. OH and most of the time we don't foul anymore the other team but we are bigger, faster, stronger, more athletic and we over power teams so much the refs take it as a foul even if it isn't. This team will be a 2 seed and go deep into the tourney this year. Please don't everyone be like plumberscrack and sound disappointed after a nice huge win we're supposed to have.

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plumberscrack 7 years, 2 months ago

Sasha Kaun is terrible for a 'big man'. He doesn't rebound that well. He definitely can't shoot well and adds too many turnovers due to 'bad hands'. This KU team has far too many turnovers a game to get very deep into the tournament. Passes into Kaun make up for the majority of turnovers that we can do without. We also foul too much and Kaun is one of the worst (along with Athur) at getting stupid fouls.

Jackson is much smarter and a better all around player and should be starting in place of Kaun (Even Athur should be starting before Kaun) if KU hopes to go far into the post season tournament!!

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scenebooster 7 years, 2 months ago

Keep your head up, Darnell. Every Jayhawk across the nation is proud of you!

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mom_of_three 7 years, 2 months ago

Darnell was playing well last night, as well as Sasha. As far as starting Darnell, I would rather him come off the bench with Darrell Arthur. As much I as respect Sasha's abilities, he can get the quick fouls and then let the others play. It worked last night.
Sasha had a great 2nd half.

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lawrence_citizen 7 years, 2 months ago

I absolutely love to watch Darnell paly. He looks like he is really having fun. Especially when the opposing player starts getting frustrated, his smile gets even bigger. He is a true hero to keep going with all he has had to deal with in his personal life.

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plumberscrack 7 years, 2 months ago

Hey coach Self: START DARNELL IN PLACE OF KAUN....the team works better and smoother with Jackson in there.

Hang in there Darnell. Hopefully, your back will not keep you out of the lineup anymore than it does. WE'LL NEED YOU in the tournament in March!

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