Tracking the College Basketball Stars of the Future
Saturday, September 13, 2003
By Thad Mumau
Pirates closing in on N.J.
apparently is a high priority of the East Carolina University basketball
staff, and it looks like the feeling is mutual.
"East Carolina has recruited him pretty hard," said Herman Johnson,
Jacksonís coach at Burlington (NJ) North Burlington High School. "Their
coaches have indicated to us that Cedric is one of their priority recruits.
They have offered him a scholarship."
And there is a
very good chance Jackson will accept. In fact, he could commit to the
Pirates any day now.
"There is a
very strong possibility he will give them a verbal (commitment)," Johnson
said. "That could happen very soon."
Jackson visited ECU Sept. 5-7 along with his family, and everyone came away
"It was an
official visit," Johnson said. "Cedricís parents and his older brother went
with him. Cedric called me from down there and said his whole family really
liked the East Carolina campus and everything about the school and the
basketball program. They went to the football game, and even though West
Virginia won, they all had a good time.
"His mother is
from Greensboro and there is a lot of family in North Carolina, so thatís a
huge advantage for East Carolina. Cedric is very close to his parents, and
they want to see him play. His father has already said he and Cedricís mom
will make the six-hour drive (to Greenville) as much as they can to see the
is in the military, and there is a good chance he will retire in North
membership in Conference USA is also viewed as a plus in their courtship of
likes that conference," the North Burlington coach said. "Playing
Louisville, Memphis, Cincinnati and teams like that night after night has
him excited. ItĎs a tremendous conference."
Johnson talk, it sounds as if itís just about a one-school race for Jackson.
"He was going to visit Pittsburgh," Johnson said, "but itís not going to
happen. He has been involved some with Rutgers. And Seton Hall, Rhode Island
and LaSalle are starting to get serious.
"But I just
think Cedricís relationship with his parents ó and their connection with
the state of North Carolina ó gives East Carolina a very good advantage,
and he likes everything about the basketball there: the coaches, players,
program and conference."
stands 6-2 1/2 and weighs 185 pounds, is considered a combination guard. But
his coach sees him more as a point guard for college.
"He played two
guard for us as a sophomore," Johnson said, "and he started last season at
two. But he was injured, and when he came back, we moved him exclusively to
is ranked No. 194 among the nationís seniors by Prepstars.com, averaged 24.9
points, 8.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 4.5 steals as a junior. He led North
Burlington to a 16-10 record and advancement to the New Jersey Group II
state semifinals. He scored a career-high 42 points.
sophomore, he averaged 22 points, 8.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists and four steals
as his team finished 15-7 after falling in the first round of the state
Carolina is fortunate enough to sign Cedric, their fans will fall in love
with him," Johnson predicted. "He is an electric player, very athletic and
"He is also a
sweetheart off the court. Heís very humble, soft-spoken and mild-mannered,
almost shy. But when he steps onto the court, he transforms into a fierce
competitor who wants more than anything to win.
"Cedric is an
explosive player and a tremendous scorer. He could average around 40 a game,
but thatís not his style. He is unselfish and does a great job of getting
the ball to his teammates. He doesnít want to dominate; he wants to win."
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