Update (11/11/2015): Loren Jackson has signed to Long Beach State.
Standing at 5-foot-6-inches, Loren Jackson does not look like your typical recruit, but that has never stopped the class of 2016 point guard from dominating the basketball court. Jackson attends Victory Rock Prep, a basketball prep school his father started in Sarasota, Florida, but his basketball beginnings trace back to Chicago, where he spent his early life. He grew up playing in the Small Fry Basketball League, the same one NBA players like Patrick Beverly and Derrick Rose once went through.
“Everyone from Chicago, they are mostly all small point guards,” said the 3-star recruit, “It’s either you work on your game or you’re going to get annihilated.”
The work he put in on the Chicago court has led to an extremely complete skill set. Jackson is a high competitor on both sides of the ball with his ability to take the ball away on defense and smoothly control the offense. Jackson said that many people compare him to Clippers guard Chris Paul, and when watching Jackson play, the comparison makes sense. He possesses top tier court vision and passing abilities and can take over games when he needs to score due to his elite finishing around the rim.
“My biggest skills would probably be my ball handling and my leadership,” he said, “Most of the college coaches have been telling me to just keep getting stronger. That is just the main thing I’ve been working on during the offseason.”
Colleges have taken notice of Jackson this summer, increasing his offer count to 13, including his first offer from a major school, Oklahoma State. Although he and his dad are still waiting to figure out exactly when they want to make the decision, Jackson has begun the process of looking into the schools that have offered him. He has already taken his first official visit at Long Beach State.
“I really enjoyed it,” he said, “It was really fun playing with those guys and getting to be around them coaches, hearing what they feel.”
When it comes time to decide, Jackson said he is trying to figure out what school he would fit best at as a player and a leader. He is used to being an on and off the court leader, and wants to come into his college right away and take on that responsibility.
“I just want somewhere where I can come in play, and have the ball,” Jackson said, “Where I could lead the team like I’m used to doing.”
Basketball is not the only thing Jackson is taking into consideration. While his dad, who doubles as his coach, is big in the basketball portion of his life, he said his mom is huge on academics.
“School factors in a lot,” he said, “My mom doesn’t really accept anything less than As. She focuses more on school than anything.”
In his senior season, Jackson said he is shooting to win the Florida State Championship, and with his talents that is very conceivable. Loren Jackson may be a small guard, but he is a big time player.