Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Paterson’s Tamir “Pop” Jackson, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior shooting guard from St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, has given an oral commitment to the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
He has visited the school just once, last October.
“I committed last night,” Jackson said Tuesday by phone. “I just had a great connection with the coaching staff and another good connection with (6-foot-9 center) DeMarcus Cousins (who committed to play for head coach Mike Davis). I saw him play a couple times and then when I went out for a visit, the coach introduced me and we took it from there.”
Jackson averaged 14 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists for a St. Benedict’s team that finished 24-1 and ranked No. 2 in the nation behind St. Anthony of Jersey City in several major national polls. Jackson also had offers from Miami, St. John’s, Virginia Tech, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Penn and Harvard, and interest from Arizona. Jackson cannot sign a National Letter of Intent until November.
“I’m glad it’s over,” said Jackson, a strong student who carries a 3.6 GPA. “It takes a lot of pressure off me that I know what college I’m going to. You don’t have to worry about which coach likes you and which coach doesn’t like you.”
“He’s a great kid and it’s a great situation,” said Jimmy Salmon, the head of the Playaz Basketball Club. “He has a warrior’s mentality and I’ve always seen him take on every challenge head on.”
Back in October, Salmon was quoted as saying that “Tamir Jackson is the most under-rated guard in America in the junior class.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.