July 21, 2012

Jackson is eastward bound

Kevin McCarthy

Former Bishop O'Dowd and Lakeshow backcourter Kendall Jackson has made a pair of important decisions about his future -- he is reclassifying and also heading to the Nutmeg State.

photo of Kendall Jackson

The 5-foot-9 point, who in an earlier interviews said "I would prefer to go outside of California to try something different," will be doing just that by attending Suffield Academy in Connecticut and playing for Coach Jeff Depelteau. Suffield is a member of the highly regarded New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC).

So how did this all come about?

"When I was visiting Columbia (Kyle Smith, the former St. Mary's assistant, heads the program there), I learned my SAT score needed to go up," Jackson said. His 3.7 grade point average is excellent but Ivy League admission requirements are something else.

While in the Big Apple, Jackson became enamored and, while Oakland isn't necessarily bucolic, it's become a matter of "how 'ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm" after they've seen Gotham City.

As Jackson describes it, "New York City is a great place."

Now there is no guarantee that Columbia will offer come November of this year or in April 2013 but Jackson hopes to make that action become inevitable.

"I'm working to get stronger and improve my pullup jumper and perimeter game, as well as my SAT score," he explained.

Another element that will be new to him is the New England winter.

"I've never been around snow so I'll have to be prepared for that."

Here's Lakeshow Coach Joe Fuca on his backcourter: "Kendall is a true leader by example and a winner as illustrated by bringing his high school team to the state finals for two years in a row. He is the best ball handler on the circuit and can run a team like no other I have ever seen. Kendall will play with the Lakeshow 17s Black this summer for two big tourneys and he is being recruited by several Big Sky, Big West and Ivy league schools."

Former Montgomery High big Ben Freeland, who signed in April with Lafayette of the Patriot League, was at Suffield this past year.

Jackson went out successful as an all-league selection with Bishop O'Dowd as the Dragons finished 27-6 overall, 16-0 in the Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL). The season ended with a 61-57 loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral in the state playoffs.