Denzel Jackson was one of many US college athletes whose basketball careers had to be put on hold last year. With COVID taking a firm hold in the US while Perth residents were living life pretty much as normal, it wasn’t a hard decision for him to come home. For our part, we’re really pleased because that was another quality player and person we could sign to our men’s roster for NBL1 2021.
Dad and Perth Redbacks head coach CJ Jackson is very happy to have him home:
“Denzel went over to America and went to Adams State University. With COVID and everything that happened, he never really got the chance to show what he could do. But now he is back in Perth and back to being himself as a person. That’s probably the biggest thing for me to see him being happy, breathing fresh air and not having to worry about wearing a mask, and just focusing on playing.
Denzel is one of a few young players in the team who we can develop towards having a shot at NBL level by the time they are 22 or 23. He’s already strong and skilful inside so this season will be about working on his shooting and his inside-outside game. I’m looking forward to seeing how he develops.”
NBL1 Director Nathan Barns is similarly excited to welcome Denzel to the team:
“The Perth Redbacks are the big winners from Denzel’s decision to return from the US. Denzel will provide great depth and support to our NBL1 Men’s team. He already has a great relationship with our players, in particular, our young group which is coming through and we look forward to seeing Denzel putting on the Red singlet soon.”
For Denzel, it was an easy decision to join CJ and brother Tevin at Redbacks:
“I believe that we have great chemistry between each other, and we work together well. I believe when it comes to basketball that we think about winning a championship by playing hard together and making sure the whole team is on track.”
Is he looking forward to sharing the court with his older brother for the first time?
“The thought of being able to play side by side is going to be pretty special. We both know each other’s game pretty well, so we’ll be able to use each other out there and have some fun.”
As for the rest of his teammates:
“Many of these boys have played together at some stage in different places. This is a great community to be part of and a great team has been built here. I’m sure that chemistry is going to take us a long way on the court together starting with this season.”
What goals has Denzel set for himself for this season and beyond?
“I am looking to try and get into the NBL if I can at some point if not beyond that to the NBA. I don’t believe that’s out of my reach. So I’d like to use this season with the Redbacks to lead into the Summer Leagues over in the US where I can really showcase my skills. This season really is just all about getting back out on the court, playing the game that I love and getting some opportunities for myself moving forward.”
He’s happy that the league has now become an NBL1 competition:
“It’s great to be able to have that whole showcase thing going on with the live streaming of all games. It creates a great opportunity for a lot of players now in the NBL1. For so many more people to have access to watching our league can only be a positive.”