Jackson the headliner for TU Men's Basketball's class of signees
Tulsa head men’s basketball coach Frank Haith announced on Wednesday that he has signed Darien Jackson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest HS) to a National Letter of Intent. Jackson joins DaQuan Jeffries (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe HS/Oral Roberts/Western Texas CC) and Elijah Joiner (Chicago, Ill./Curie Metropolitan HS), who previously inked NLIs in the early signing period, as part of the 2017 signing class.
“We have been recruiting Darien and following his career since I arrived at Tulsa and we are excited to keep the great pipeline from Kansas City to Tulsa strong,” Haith said. “Darien is an outstanding young man and one of Kansas City’s premier players over the last few seasons. We really like his speed and athleticism, but most importantly, we like his leadership abilities and winning pedigree. We know he comes into our program well-coached and we are excited to welcome Darien to Tulsa Nation.”
A three-star recruit by Rivals.com and 247sports.com, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound guard recently finished one of the most decorated careers in Blue Valley Northwest High School history by leading the Huskies to a 22-3 record and the 6A state title this spring. Jackson averaged 18.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game and he shot 43-percent from the floor during the campaign. He had some of his best games on the biggest stage as he averaged 20.7 ppg during the state tournament, including a 26-point outing in the championship game.
“First of all, Tulsa is getting a great person,” Blue Valley Northwest head boys basketball coach Ed Fritz said. “Darien is someone who gets along with all types of people and is easy-going off the court. On the court, he’s a very explosive player who has a lot of quickness and can get to the basket. He has developed into a great teammate and I’m really proud of how he’s grown over the last four years. Darien loves to win and will do whatever it takes to help the team. I know he’s been working hard since our state title game so that he can go down to Tulsa and make an impact right away.”
Jackson was a McDonald’s All-American nominee and his haul of postseason awards includes Class 6A first-team All-State honors from the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association (KBCA), Topeka Capital-Journal and Wichita Eagle. He also was a first-team All-Metro pick by the Kansas City Star, a first-team All-Eastern Kansas League selection and he was a finalist for the DiRenna Award, which is annually given to the top high school basketball player in the Kansas City area.
Additionally, Jackson participated in last week’s Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game and he was selected to play in the KBCA All-Star Game this summer.
Following his junior campaign in 2016, he garnered first-team All-Eastern Kansas League laurels and was named Class 6A second-team All-State by the Topeka Capital-Journal and Wichita Eagle.
2017 Tulsa Men’s Basketball Signees
6-2 • 180 • Guard
Overland Park, Kan. (Blue Valley Northwest HS)
Signed a National Letter of Intent with the Golden Hurricane in April … three-year letterwinner at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kan., for head coach Ed Fritz … a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and 247sports.com … averaged 18.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists as a senior in 2016-17 to lead the Huskies to a 22-3 record and the Class 6A state title … averaged 20.7 ppg during the state tournament, including 26 points in the championship game … was a McDonald’s All-American nominee and earned Class 6A first-team All-State honors from the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association (KBCA), Topeka Capital-Journal and Wichita Eagle … also a first-team All-Metro pick by the Kansas City Star and a first-team All-Eastern Kansas League selection … named to the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game and the KBCA All-Star Game … also was a first-team All-Eastern Kansas League selection and named Class 6A second-team All-State by the Topeka Capital-Journal and Wichita Eagle as a junior.
6-5 • 215 • Guard/Forward
Edmond, Okla. (Santa Fe HS/Oral Roberts/Western Texas CC)
Signed a National Letter of Intent with the Golden Hurricane in November … led Western Texas Community College to a 22-10 record as he averaged 15.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game during the 2016-17 season on his way to first-team All-Western Junior College Athletic Conference and All-Region V honors … shot 66-percent from the floor and connected at a 77.8-percent clip at the free-throw line … averaged 16.1 points and shot 39.1-percent from behind the arc in conference play … averaged 6.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and shot 57-percent during his freshman season at Oral Roberts in 2015-16 … earned 2015 Oklahoma Class 6A All-State honors and was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference in his final season at Santa Fe High School … helped lead the Wolves to a runner-up finish at the 2015 state tournament when he averaged 15.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per outing … was a teammate of TU sophomore Curran Scott for three seasons at Santa Fe.
6-3 • 205 • Guard
Chicago, Ill. (Curie Metropolitan HS)
Signed a National Letter of Intent with the Golden Hurricane in November … rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com, he is ranked as the No. 18 combo guard in the country by 247Sports.com … also ranked as the No. 8 overall player and No. 3 shooting guard in the state of Illinois by PrepHoops.com … was a four-year varsity starter for head coach Mike Oliver at Curie Metropolitan High School … averaged 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists and helped lead Curie to a 25-4 record and regional title as a senior in 2016-17 … earned first-team All-State honors from the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and first-team All-City recognition following the campaign … also earned All-State special mention honors by the Chicago Tribune and was named All-Area by the Chicago Sun-Times … outscored No. 4 Kenwood by himself with 40 points on 11-of-17 shooting, including a 6-of-9 effort from behind the arc … averaged 11.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 2015-16 as he helped lead the Condors to the Class 4A state title … off the court, he earned the 2016 Teen of the Year Award by the YMCA of Metro Chicago for his efforts in peacemaking, leadership, sportsmanship and service with the Chicago-area YMCA.