Ian Jackson, the No. 2-ranked men’s basketball prospect in the Class of 2024, announced his commitment to North Carolina on Monday, a huge recruiting win for coach Hubert Davis and the Tar Heels.
Jackson chose Carolina over Kentucky, with Arkansas, LSU and Oregon also on his final list of five schools.
“Just the family vibe,” Jackson said during an announcement on ESPNU. “It was very different from any other tour I’ve been on. Davis and I had a real connection.”
While he has long been a candidate for reclassification in the Class of 2023, Jackson said he remains in the Class of 2024 for the time being.
As Jackson mentioned during his announcement, his visit to North Carolina earlier this month made the difference.
“The campus was beautiful,” he told ESPN ahead of the announcement. “People were so friendly and welcoming. They were telling me how much they wanted me to go there. It was so cool to see all the Hall of Fame jerseys and the names of their great players. I I saw Michael Jordan’s name and jersey. I even said hi to Roy Williams. He was like, ‘We want you here.'”
While Jackson’s relationship with current Carolina guard RJ Davis played a part, he developed a strong bond with Hubert Davis.
“He’s a great coach and person. I like his investment in the program,” Jackson said. “He’s played there. Every staff member has been there or played there. He’s always smiling and easy to talk to off and on the pitch. He constantly checked on my family members throughout. throughout the process. Coach Davis made it clear that mistakes will happen. I will be given the chance to play through my mistakes.”
Jackson, a 6-foot-5 winger from Cardinal Hayes High School (New York), is North Carolina’s highest-ranked prospect since Cole Anthony in the 2019 class.
He represented USA Basketball at the FIBA U16 2021 and U17 World Championships 2022, playing a key role on both teams. In 2021, he averaged 9.3 points in six games, while also averaging 11.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in seven games in the 2022 event.
Jackson has top-notch physical skills, especially vertically to the rim. He has incredible transition ability, filling the lane and finishing on the edge. He also demonstrated legitimate 3-point shooting and the ability to drive to the rim.
His commitment represents a massive win on the recruiting track for Davis, who has now landed two five-star prospects and four top-50 rookies in the 2024 class. Jackson joins fellow five-star Elliot Cadeau, as well as four-star prospects Drake Powell and James Brown, in the group of Tar Heels.
Jackson is close to Cadeau, who hails from New Jersey.
“We talk or text almost every day,” he said. “I’ve known him since seventh grade. We have a chance to win together.”
Although ESPN is yet to release the official recruiting class rankings for 2024, Carolina’s group is comfortably the best in the country right now.
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