6-foot-9 225 pound stud junior PF Richard Jackson from Neumann-Gorretti HS in Philadelphia, PA has primarily lurked in the shadows to this point. Sure colleges were aware of the enormous potential of the quiet unassuming player wrapped in the powerful athletic body. However, last weekend Jackson stepped to the forefront and let the world know that he's ready to take his place among the very best in the Class of 2007.
At last weekend's Jameer Nelson Basketball Showcase at Chester HS in Pennsylvania, Jackson was a man possessed in the first half, scoring 24 points and grabbing 7 rebounds before the break. He finished the night with 32 points, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocks, scoring on an array of spin moves, baseline jumpers and dunks. Jackson did this despite sitting for long periods of time in the second half, due to a lopsided score in the game.
Certainly an impressive coming out party for the big fella.
Rivals.com spoke to Jackson after the game and he said that he's getting plenty of interest, including a number of scholarship offers.
"I have Syracuse, Georgia, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Villanova, Saint Joseph's, and Penn State on my list." Jackson said. "All of them have offered. I went to Syracuse with Scoop (teammate Antonio Jardine) a couple of weeks ago. It was a lot of fun."
Jackson said he's also been on unofficial visits to local schools Saint Joseph's and Villanova in the past year.
On a team full of Division I players last season, Jackson was inconsistent to say the least. However, building on performances like the one we saw last weekend, as well as a strong showing at the Sonny Hill Future Stars Tournament last month, bodes well for him.
Neumann-Gorretti's schedule should provide plenty of tests for the big man, with matchups against Oak Hill Academy, Episcopal Academy, and several national tournaments. Jackson looks ready to meet those challenges head on.