Jaren Jackson Jr

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Jaren Jackson Jr.

Jaren Walter Jackson Jr., born on September 15, 1999, is a prominent figure in the world of professional basketball, earning the moniker “Block Panther” for his exceptional defensive prowess. Also recognized by his initials, JJJ, Jackson currently plays for the Memphis Grizzlies in the National Basketball Association (NBA), a team that drafted him as the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. In the 2023 NBA season, Jaren Jackson Jr. achieved a significant milestone by earning a spot on his first NBA All-Star team. Moreover, he clinched the Defensive Player of the Year award, showcasing his remarkable skills on the court. Notably, Jackson has consistently topped the league in blocks per game for two consecutive seasons, a testament to his defensive dominance.

Before making a name for himself in the NBA, Jackson honed his talents playing college basketball for the Michigan State Spartans. His journey began in high school at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, where he contributed significantly to the team’s success, securing two IHSAA state basketball championships. Transitioning to La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana for his senior year, Jackson continued to shine, forming connections with notable players like Jordan Poole. Despite facing a setback with a stress fracture in his right foot in 2022, Jackson displayed resilience, returning to the court and making impactful contributions to the Grizzlies during the 2022–23 season.

Notable moments from the season include his career-high eight blocks in a game against the Atlanta Hawks and a remarkable performance where he scored 31 points against the Orlando Magic. These accomplishments led to his selection as a reserve forward for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game. As the regular season concluded, Jaren Jackson Jr. once again secured the league leader title in blocks for the second consecutive year, averaging an impressive 3 blocks per game. In the playoffs, despite a standout game with 31 points against the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis ultimately faced defeat in a six-game series.

During the playoffs, Jackson not only showcased his offensive skills but was also recognized as the Defensive Player of the Year for the first time. Furthermore, he secured a spot on the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the second consecutive year, solidifying his status as one of the league’s premier defensive players.

Jaren Jackson Jr.

Date of birth September 15, 1999
brith place Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.
Country U.S [3]
height

6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)

weight 242 lb (110 kg)
School
  •  Park Tudor (Indianapolis, Indiana)
  • La Lumiere School (La Porte, Indiana)
College  Michigan State (2017–2018)
NBA draft  2018: 1st round, 4th overall pick
career 2018–present
No. 13 – Memphis Grizzlies  
Position Power forward / center
League  NBA
Career highlights and awards  
  • NBA All-Star (2023)
  • NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2023)
  • 2× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2022, 2023)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (2019)
  • 2× NBA blocks leader (2022, 2023)
  • Third-team All-Big Ten (2018)
  • Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (2018)
  • Big Ten Freshman of the Year (2018)
  • Big Ten All-Freshman Team (2018)
  • McDonald’s All-American (2017)

College Career

On September 15, 2016, Jaren Jackson Jr. publicly declared his commitment to playing under the coaching of Tom Izzo at Michigan State University. His official endorsement came on November 9, 2016, when he inked the letter of intent.[11] The commencement of his collegiate journey unfolded on November 10, 2017, marking his debut with an impressive performance of 13 points and a season-high 13 rebounds in a dominant 98–66 victory over North Florida. Just four days later, Jackson showcased his skills with a then-season-high 19 points in a close 88–81 matchup against the top-ranked Duke.

As the season progressed, Jackson continued to leave a significant impact. On December 5, he displayed versatility, contributing 11 points and achieving a career-high 8 blocks in a 62–52 triumph over Rutgers. A mere four days following this remarkable performance, he notched 17 points and yet another career-high with 13 rebounds in a commanding 88–63 win over Southern Utah.

The momentum persisted into the new year. On January 22, 2018, Jackson set another then-season-high, scoring 21 points alongside 11 rebounds and 6 blocks in an 87–74 victory over Illinois. Further establishing his prowess, he recorded a career-high 27 points on February 13, leading his team to a resounding 87–57 win over Minnesota. As the regular season concluded for Michigan State, Jackson garnered prestigious accolades, including recognition as the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, a spot on the Big Ten’s All-Freshman Team, and inclusion in the All-Big Ten’s Third Team.

On April 2, 2018, Jaren Jackson Jr. officially declared his entry into the 2018 NBA draft, entering the pool of prospects as a highly-regarded potential top-tier lottery selection.

Professional career

2018–2021: early years

On the fateful day of June 21, 2018, Jaren Jackson Jr., a promising talent, ascended to the ranks of the NBA elite when he was chosen as the fourth overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2018 NBA draft. Cementing his commitment to the team, he inked a multi-year, rookie-scale contract with the Grizzlies on July 1, 2018. However, adversity struck on March 29, 2019, as Jackson faced an untimely setback, being sidelined for the remainder of the season due to a significant bruise on his right thigh. Undeterred, Jackson’s resilience and skill would later manifest in a remarkable performance on December 13, 2019. On this memorable day, he achieved a career-high 43 points, showcasing his prowess with 9 three-pointers—an achievement that equaled a franchise record set by Mike Miller in 2007—though the game ended in a 127–114 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

As Jackson’s journey continued, he encountered both triumphs and challenges. Notably, on January 30, 2020, he faced a suspension for one game without pay. This penalty stemmed from an incident where he left the bench during a heated altercation between the Grizzlies and the New York Knicks. On a brighter note, on January 28, 2020, Jackson etched his name in the record books once again, this time with a career-high 7 blocks in a 104–96 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

The narrative took a somber turn on August 4, 2020, when Jackson suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee during a game against the New Orleans Pelicans hosted in the Bubble. This unfortunate event marked his premature exit from the 2019–20 season, leaving fans and teammates disappointed. Despite the challenges, Jackson’s resilience shone through. On December 16, 2020, the Grizzlies revealed their confidence in his potential by exercising the team option on Jackson. His triumphant return on April 21, 2021, was a testament to his determination, contributing 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks in a hard-fought loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Just two days later, he reached new heights with a season-high 23 points in a thrilling 130–128 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Grizzlies’ journey through the playoffs in 2021 brought renewed hope to the team, breaking a playoff drought since 2017. Their first-round series against the top-seeded Utah Jazz was a showcase of resilience. On May 31, 2021, Jackson demonstrated his postseason prowess by scoring a career-high 21 points in a hard-fought 120–113 Game 4 loss. Despite this valiant effort, the Grizzlies ultimately succumbed to the Jazz in five games, concluding a season filled with both challenges and memorable moments for Jaren Jackson Jr.

2021–present

On October 18, 2021, Jaren Jackson Jr., a key player for the Memphis Grizzlies, inked a lucrative four-year contract extension worth $105 million, solidifying his commitment to the team. Demonstrating his prowess on January 9, 2022, Jackson showcased his skills by scoring 21 points and matching a career-high with 12 rebounds in an impressive 127–119 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

The postseason journey for Jackson was marked by notable achievements. During Game 1 of the first round against the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 16, he made a significant impact, contributing 12 points and an astounding seven blocks. This performance set a franchise record for the Grizzlies, surpassing the previous mark held by Marc Gasol. Despite the loss, Jackson continued to shine, ultimately helping the Grizzlies secure victory in six games against the Timberwolves.

As the Grizzlies advanced to face the Golden State Warriors in the second round, Jackson’s influence persisted. On May 1, he achieved a playoff career-high with 33 points, accompanied by ten rebounds, in a closely contested Game 1. Although the Grizzlies faced elimination in the series, Jackson concluded the 2021–22 season as the NBA leader in blocks per game, boasting an impressive average of 2.3, and finishing with a total of 177 blocks—40 more than the second-placed player. His stellar defensive contributions earned him a spot on the NBA All-Defensive First Team and a commendable fifth-place finish in the Defensive Player of the Year voting.

However, Jackson faced a setback when, on June 30, 2022, he underwent surgery to address a stress fracture in his right foot, sidelining him for an anticipated four-to-six months. Returning to action on November 15, 2022, after missing the initial 14 games of the 2022–23 season, Jackson made an impactful season debut against the New Orleans Pelicans, recording seven points, six rebounds, and five blocks in a hard-fought 113–102 loss.

Jackson’s resilience and contribution were further highlighted on December 12, as he achieved a career-high eight blocks, complemented by 15 points, seven rebounds, and two assists in a commanding 128–103 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Continuing his impressive run, on January 5, 2023, Jackson notched a season-high 31 points, accompanied by ten rebounds and three blocks, in a victorious 123–115 outing against the Orlando Magic.

The recognition of Jackson’s outstanding performance came on February 2, 2023, when he earned a well-deserved selection to his first NBA All-Star Game as a reserve forward for the Western Conference. On April 5, Jackson delivered a stellar performance, scoring a season-high 40 points, along with nine rebounds, three assists, and four blocks in a thrilling 138–131 overtime loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Ending the regular season on a high note, Jackson maintained his status as the league leader in blocks for the second consecutive year, averaging a career-high of 3 blocks per game. The playoffs brought further accolades for Jackson, as he was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the first time and secured a spot on the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the second consecutive year. Despite an impressive individual showing, Memphis faced a tough defeat, losing the series in six games. Jackson’s resilience and defensive prowess continue to position him as a standout player in the NBA.

Statistics

Regular Season

 
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2018–19 Memphis 58 56 26.1 .506 .359 .766 4.7 1.1 .9 1.4 13.8
2019–20 Memphis 57 57 28.5 .469 .394 .747 4.6 1.4 .7 1.6 17.4
2020–21 Memphis 11 4 23.5 .424 .283 .833 5.6 1.1 1.1 1.6 14.4
2021–22 Memphis 78 78 27.3 .415 .319 .823 5.8 1.1 .9 2.3* 16.3
2022–23 Memphis 63 63 28.4 .506 .355 .788 6.8 1.0 1.0 3.0* 18.6
Career 267 258 27.4 .466 .352 .790 5.5 1.1 .9 2.1 16.4
All-Star 1 0 7.9 .750 .000 1.0 .0 .0 .0 6.0

Play-in

 
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2021 Memphis 2 2 22.9 .333 .375 .818 3.0 2.0 .5 1.5 10.0
Career 2 2 22.9 .333 .375 .818 3.0 2.0 .5 1.5 10.0

Playoffs

 
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2021 Memphis 5 5 27.4 .426 .286 .875 5.6 1.0 1.0 1.2 13.6
2022 Memphis 12 12 27.7 .378 .375 .755 6.8 .9 .8 2.5 15.4
2023 Memphis 6 6 36.7 .422 .280 .861 7.8 1.5 1.0 2.0 18.0
Career 23 23 30.0 .399 .336 .810 6.8 1.1 .9 2.1 15.7

College

 
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2017–18 Michigan State 33 32 22.2 .520 .396 .797 5.8 1.2 .6 3.2 11.3

Early & Personal life

Jaren Walter Jackson Jr., born on September 15, 1999, in Plainfield, New Jersey, is an accomplished basketball player with a compelling journey through his formative years.

Commencing his high school career at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, Jaren exhibited his prowess on the court, contributing significantly to the team’s success. Over three varsity years, he maintained an impressive average of 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game. Notably, Jaren secured two IHSAA state basketball championships during his tenure at Park Tudor, showcasing his commitment to excellence in the sport.

A pivotal transition occurred as he moved to La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana, for his senior year. This relocation marked a significant chapter in Jaren’s life, where he not only continued to shine on the court but also formed connections with notable players such as Jordan Poole. Their collaboration contributed to the success of the varsity squad, highlighting Jaren’s adaptability and team-oriented approach to the game.

Jaren Jackson Jr. is more than just a talented athlete; he is the son of the accomplished former NBA player and professional basketball coach, Jaren Jackson. Additionally, his family boasts a strong connection to the basketball world, as his mother, Terri Jackson, serves as the executive director of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA).

Beyond the statistics and championships, Jaren Jackson Jr.’s journey is a testament to his dedication, adaptability, and the rich basketball legacy that runs in his family.

Recruiting

Jaren Jackson Jr. emerged as one of the standout prospects in the graduating class of 2017, garnering recognition for his exceptional skills on the basketball court. In assessments by Scout.com, he secured the prestigious fifth spot nationally, claiming the top position within his playing category and an impressive second overall in the Midwest region. The acclaim continued with 247Sports, ranking him 7th nationally and an impressive 4th in his specific position.

ESPN’s assessment further solidified Jackson’s reputation, placing him at the 8th position in the ESPN 100 rankings. Within this, he earned the distinction of being the second-best in his position and securing the remarkable second spot regionally. His prowess on the basketball court attracted attention from renowned college basketball programs such as Michigan State, Notre Dame, Butler, Indiana, Purdue, and Maryland, among others, highlighting the widespread recognition of his talent.

Notably, Jaren Jackson Jr. received invitations to showcase his skills at prestigious events, including participation in the McDonald’s All-American Game held on March 29, 2017. This event served as a platform for him to exhibit his basketball prowess on a national stage, further solidifying his status as a highly sought-after talent in the basketball community.

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