Five-star Ian Jackson poised to put rumors to rest by signing with North Carolina, eyeing NCAA championship | Zagsblog
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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.
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Monday / March 4.
  • Five-star Ian Jackson poised to put rumors to rest by signing with North Carolina, eyeing NCAA championship

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Ian Jackson is poised to put all the St. John’s rumors to rest by signing his National Letter of Intent with North Carolina on Saturday at his former school in The Bronx.

    “He’s going to sign Saturday at 10:30 am at John Philip Sousa High School,” Clarence, “Mugsy” Leggett, Jackson’s AAU coach with the Wiz Kids, told ZAGSBLOG.

    “That’s the school he went to and the Wiz Kids home.”

    The 6-foot-5 Jackson is a five-star prospect ranked the No. 4 shooting guard in the Class of 2024, per 247Sports.com.

    Syracuse commit Elijah Moore, Jackson’s teammate with Our Saviour Lutheran and the Wiz Kids, will also sign Saturday. The 6-4 Moore is a four-star ranked the No. 11 shooting guard.

    Also this weekend, Jackson and Moore are slated to play with St. John’s commit Jaiden Glover and uncommitted five-star Dylan Harper in the Hustle & Heart Classic hosted by ACES at Baruch College.

    Jackson committed to North Carolina over Kentucky and others in January, but after Rick Pitino took the St. John’s job in March, rumblings began that Jackson might flip and stay home in New York at the Big East school.

    When Jackson last season was still at Cardinal Hayes High School — the alma mater of former Kentucky star Jamal Mashburn — Pitino appeared to watch practice, fueling the rumors.

    Jackson has been complimentary of Pitino, the 71-year-old Naismith Hall of Famer, but has been steadfast in saying he will play for Hubert Davis at North Carolina.

    “The rumors are not true,” Jackson said to 247Sports in March. “Coach Pitino is at St. John’s and is a Hall of Fame coach, but my plan is to stay at North Carolina. I’m 100% committed.”

    Recently, Jackson even predicted he would help lead the Tar Heels to an NCAA championship in 2025.

    “I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen,” Jackson said on Shake Squad Media’s “Captain Jack: The Ian Jackson Experience” docuseries “I’m going to go UNC. We’re going to win a natty. And I’m out of there. That’s the plan. Natty first. Remember, I called it.”

    One North Carolina commit, center James Brown, signed on Wednesday at Link Academy (MO) with his teammates, while another, small forward Drake Powell, is set to sign Thursday.

    Of course, even after they sign, the rumors could persist.

    Remember that former Roselle Catholic (N.J.) guard Simeon Wilcher flipped from North Carolina to St. John’s last spring after signing his NLI.

    “It’s more about playing for Rick ‘f–king” Pitino,” Sergio Wilcher, Simeon’s father, said in a phone interview. “It was Rick Pitino winning 7 out of 10 games he lined up to play.”

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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.

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