By MARK BAIROS
Special to ZAGSBLOG
2016 Canadian phenom Justin Jackson will attend Henderson (NV) Findlay Prep this fall, newly appointed head coach Jerome Williams told SNY.tv.
The 6-foot-7 Jackson, a native of East York, Ontario, will join fellow Canadians Jalen Poyser and Dillon Brooks at the prep powerhouse.
“Winning history, Canadian history, ability to produce PROS & most of all sense of family,” Jackson told NorthPoleHoops.com.
Findlay has churned out several Canadian first-round draft picks in recent years in Anthony Bennett and Tristan Thomspon. Bennett was the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, and Thompson went No. 4 in 2012.
“[Jackson] is definitely the next big thing out of Canada,” Williams, a former member of the Toronto Raptors who got the Findlay job earlier this week, told SNY.tv and Hoops Hype Canada. “I have to say he was probably the first Canadian talent I began recruiting years ago.”
While Poyser and Brooks play for CIA Bounce on the AAU circuit, Jackson is currently a member of YAAACE, an AAU program based out of Toronto that was founded by director Devon Jones with consultance from Jerome’s brother Johnnie Williams.
“Justin has been with YAACE since the inception, when we created a mandate to provide mentorship programs for young men at risk of becoming products of negative environments,” Johnnie Williams said. “I remember him standing out as tallest of the bunch.”
Jackson this summer led YAAACE to a 19-3 record across events in Indiana, Orlando and Las Vegas. He also participated in the U16 FIBA Americas Championship in Uruguay.
While Findlay is a Nike program, YAAACE has been sponsored by Adidas. Yet Johnnie Williams maintains that Jackson will always be loyal to his AAU program.
“He bleeds purple and black,” Williams said.
Purple and black are the two main colors of YAAACE’s logo, which stems from days of the YAAACE inception when violence in Toronto was at an all-time high. There were gangs representing red and gangs representing blue. Purple symbolizes the merging of both colors and an effort to end gang violence.