Future Kansas guard Elmarko Jackson wows with highlight dunk at McDonald’s All American Jam Fest
photo by: Photo courtesy of the McDonald's All American Game
Future Kansas guard Elmarko Jackson may not have won Monday’s slam dunk contest at the McDonald’s All American Games Jam Fest in Houston, but he did deliver one of the most memorable dunks of the night.
Competing with such players as Bronny James, the son of NBA legend LeBron James, and eventual contest winner Sean Stewart, who’s headed to Duke, Jackson wowed the crowd by dunking over none other than Ronald McDonald himself.
Jackson received a perfect score of 70 for the dunk, which also included one of the children from the Ronald McDonald House, where members of both the boys and girls teams spent time this week ahead of Tuesday’s showcase games.
The week began with pick-up games featuring some of the best high school players in the country, and Jackson impressed at least one of his peers during the scrimmages.
According to a report from Rob Cassidy of Rivals.com, Kentucky signee Aaron Bradshaw listed the 6-foot-4 Jackson as the player who had stood out to him the most so far.
“I’ve known him a little bit,” Bradshaw told Cassidy, “but I didn’t really know he was like that. He’s a strong player and he does a lot well.”
Interestingly enough, Jackson also executed a dunk over Bradshaw, who stands 7 feet tall, during Monday’s event. That one did not receive all 10s from the judges.
Earlier Monday, Jackson got his turn with the national media during an 8-minute press conference.
Asked about his experience at the iconic high school all-star game so far, Jackson said visiting the children at the Ronald McDonald House had been his favorite part.
“Just seeing the little kids smile and seeing how we positively impacted them just meant the world to me,” he said. “Made my day for sure.”
A four-star prospect who signed with KU in November, Jackson also was asked about his excitement level for joining the Jayhawks this summer. He said he was most looking forward to testing himself against tougher competition night in and night out and that he was “really excited” to get to Lawrence.
“I’ve put a lot of work in over the past couple years,” he said. “So, I feel like this is just a really good test for me to see where I’m at, and just see what I need to get better at and just evolve as a player and a person.”
He’s confident that KU head coach Bill Self and his coaching staff will be the right ones to help his growth and maturation.
“I feel like Coach Bill Self does a great job getting the best out of his players and instilling his players with confidence to do the things that they do on the court,” Jackson said Monday. “So, I feel like he’ll definitely get the best out of me next year for sure. I’m really excited for that.”
Jackson and the rest of this year’s McDonald’s All Americans will compete in the showcase event at 8 p.m. Tuesday night in Houston.
The boys’ game will follow the girls’ contest, which is slated for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.
Jackson is the fifth McDonald’s All-American to sign with KU since 2020, joining Bryce Thompson (now at Oklahoma State) and current Jayhawks Gradey Dick, MJ Rice and Ernest Udeh Jr.
He becomes the 27th McDonald’s All-American signed to KU by Self.
Said Self of Jackson when he signed with the Jayhawks in November after committing in October: “He’s (an) athlete that can make plays with the ball and can play above the rim. He is extremely explosive and a guy that has been well drilled, well taught in a short amount of time. We’re so excited to have him. He’ll be one of those versatile guards that can play the point, but also can play anywhere off the ball, as well.”