January 8, 2008

N.C. wing enjoying new found attention

The enormity of the next two weeks is starting to hit North Carolina wing Lakeem Jackson. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound prospect from the Christ School has a number of big games ahead of him and a good performance could yield his first high-major offers.

Jackson is coming off a strong December, a month where he helped his Christ School team claim a championship at the Chick-Fil-A Classic. He averaged over 20 points a game in a three game stretch and saw his recruitment sky-rocket after the event in South Carolina.

"It just pounded it inside and went hard to the rim," Jackson said. "That's what I do. No one could match-up with us and coach told me to take advantage of the mismatches."

The schedule ahead is filled for the Christ School (15-0). The team plays Calvary Baptist (15-1) tonight in Winston-Salem. The big game comes on Jan. 21 when the team plays Oak Hill Academy in Greensboro, N.C.

Jackson calls himself a slasher that protects the rim and a guy that can score in the midrange. Jackson is a modest evaluator. He's a strong athlete, too.

"Oh, and those dunks," Jackson says with a laugh. "I don't have any tricks. I just like dunking over people. The whole momentum of the game changes."

Part of his success can be attributed to playing alongside the Plumlee brothers - Mason and Miles. Jackson said it's nice to have a pair of skilled near 7-footers on his team.

"My old school, I never really had anyone that could rebound so I had to be the guy that grabbed 10 boards and played inside," he said. "With these guys, the snatch the boards and then I'm breaking out. Every time someone gets doubled on our team, someone is bound to be open."

Jackson's only offer to date is from Western Kentucky. The high-majors have taken notice of late.

"Schools that I never thought I'd hear from are making calls. Coach is telling me that schools are calling. There are times when I'm like, 'Man, I never thought that school would be calling me.' The ACC, all of that stuff. I never would have guessed all of that," Jackson said. "I've been getting a lot of calls from Kentucky. Coach (Tracy) Webster is recruiting me pretty hard. I talked to coach (Paul) Hewitt from Georgia Tech. That was pretty cool."

Clemson, Georgia, Minnesota, Charlotte and High Point are also very much interested, he said.

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