Kansas University, which recently received an oral commitment from Zach Peters of the high school basketball recruiting class of 2012, is in strong position to land another prep junior-to-be.
He’s Nino Jackson, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound point guard/shooting guard out of Ardmore (Okla.) High School, who plays for former KU player Carl Henry’s Oklahoma Athletes First AAU team.
“My mind is kind of made up to go to Kansas,” Jackson said Monday in a cell-phone interview with the Journal-World. “It’s a school I’ve been looking at the last couple years. I like coach Bill Self and the way he runs the team. Watching Xavier (Henry, former Athletes First player) play and the way coach Self coaches ... I want to play down there.”
Jackson — he averaged 17.2 points last season — mentioned KU, Oregon, Indiana, Oklahoma and SMU as schools on his current list. He’s also received interest from Baylor, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
Jackson, who has not yet received a scholarship offer from KU, will be attending KU’s Elite camp the first week of June.
“I’ll be there. I hope to do well, impress them and try to get recognized,” said Jackson.
He’s made no secret of his desire to play college ball at KU.
He was spotted wearing Jayhawk socks at last weekend’s AAU tournament in Houston and signs off his text messages with the word “Jayhawk.”
“Somebody gave me those socks two or three years ago. I wear them all the time,” Jackson said.
Rivals.com analyst Jerry Meyer recently observed that Jackson is one of the top players in the Class of 2012 at his position and has the opportunity to wind up as one of the elite players in a class that includes KU commit Peters, a 6-9 forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas.
Reggie Rankin of ESPN Recruiting scouted Jackson at the Nike EYBL event in Houston.
“Nino showed off his ability to score throughout the weekend. He handles the ball well and can create off the dribble for himself or a teammate,” Rankin wrote. “Jackson showed toughness by not letting his 6-2, 175-pound body get pushed around by some of the bigger guards he faced off against.”
Noted Matthew Hatfield of Rivals.com after watching Jackson play at the Boo Williams event: “Jackson was a blur in transition all weekend ... he hit three three-pointers in the final minute of (one) game. He came up with seven steals in the first half.”
Jackson said he envisions committing to a school “after my junior year of high school.” Yet considering his love of KU, it’d be easy to see him doing so before that, if and when he receives the offer.
“I think the word is out now,” he said with a laugh, referring to love of KU indicated in interviews with Rivals.com and the J-W.
KU coach Bill Self’s Basketball Boogie promo video, which can be seen at http://vimeo.com/11582018, continues to excite the masses. In the video, Self can be seen in a white leisure suit with gold chains. The boogie will be held June 11 at the College Basketball Experience in Kansas City. Information is available at www.basketballboogie.org.
“We did it as a joke. Hopefully people know I’m an awful dancer and making fun of myself,” Self said of the promo recently shown on CNN Headline News and written up by USA Today. “Rumors are it will be running on ESPN,” Self added. “We’re willing to loan it out to anybody who will run it to get the word out about the Boogie, which we feel is for a great cause (to benefit Assists Foundation).”