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.
Class of ’24 Ian Jackson is the leading scorer for USA U17s as Kentucky, UConn look on
By ADAM ZAGORIA
Bronx, N.Y. native Ian Jackson is putting his open-court offensive game on full display with the USA U17 national team at the World Cup in Malaga, Spain.
The 6-foot-6 Jackson, who plays for Cardinal Hayes High School and runs with the Wiz Kids on the Adidas circuit, poured in 26 points with seven rebounds, one assist and a steal as the USA destroyed Mali 112-64 on Tuesday.
Ranked the No. 1 shooting guard in the Class of 2024, he’s averaging 19.3 on 63% field goal shooting (25-of-40) entering Wednesday’s group stage game against Egypt.
Kentucky’s John Calipari and Orlando Antigua and UConn associate head coach Kimani Young are among those on hand in Spain watching Jackson and other prospects.
“I know Kentucky and UConn love him,” said Cardinal Hayes assistant Tim Philp, who has been texting with Jackson.
Jackson attends the same high school as former Kentucky star Jamal Mashburn and he recently picked up an offer from the Wildcats.
He said earlier this year that Kentucky and Florida State were his “dream schools” growing up.
He said he’s been “locked in” on Kentucky ever since Calipari saw him at the Empire Invitational a few years ago.
He recently told On3.com he’s hoping to set up a visit to the SEC school
“We are trying to figure out our schedule now, so we both have a good time so I can go and they can show me around campus a little bit,” he said. “So we’re working on a time and date now.”
UConn has also been on Jackson for some time. Head coach Dan Hurley, Young and assistant Luke Murray saw him in January at the Hoophall Classic. Now Young in in Spain watching him.
“I had a few talks with UConn, I like the program,” he told ZAGSBLOG at the Hoophall. “Their program is a winning program, it’s on the East [Coast] where I’m from. I definitely want to visit UConn.”
Numerous other schools are in pursuit, including North Carolina, Oregon, Kansas and Kansas State.
“I definitely want to get out to the West Coast and see Oregon,” he told On3. “I have a great relationship with the coaches recruiting me right now, so I want to get out there and talk to them and see what the campus is like, and see how everything runs.”
“UNC, I want to get out there, too.”
For now, Jackson is focused on trying to bring home a gold medal with his teammates.
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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.