Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Darnell ‘excited’ by pre-draft travels


Darnell Jackson has traveled to Orlando, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Houston, Oakland, Seattle, Cleveland twice and Charlotte this past month while pursuing his NBA dream.

"I'm not tired. I'm excited. It's been a great experience, getting to stay in the nicest hotels, flying everywhere. You're constantly flying, basically for job interviews," Jackson, a former Kansas University forward, said Monday afternoon.

He had just completed an individual workout with the Cleveland Cavaliers and was preparing to fly to North Carolina for today's final pre-NBA Draft workout with the Charlotte Bobcats.

After that, the 6-foot-8, 250-pounder was to return to his native Midwest City, Okla., to kick back and relax in advance of Thursday night's draft, in which he may be selected in Round Two.

"I will have a barbecue with my family, watch (the draft) with my mom and girlfriend," Jackson said. "The perfect scenario would be to hear my name called. A lot of players prefer to be drafted so they know where they are going to be.

"It's like putting your name in a jar. You don't know who is going to pull it out, Oakland, Seattle, Cleveland, whoever. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. It's been a great journey. Really it doesn't matter if I'm a free agent or get drafted, as long as I'm with a team."

Chad Ford of says Jackson will go 29th in the second round to Detroit. says San Antonio will nab him at No. 27 of Round Two.

"I'll definitely be prepared to go anywhere, a (NBA) summer camp, cross-seas. Right now, it's all predictions. Nobody knows but the coaches and general managers. I plan on having a great and successful life no matter what happens," Jackson said.


yates33333 9 years, 11 months ago

If they chose on the inner worth of a player you'd be a lottery choice Darnell.

Ku_fan5 9 years, 11 months ago

i think if he gos to a good team he will develop much better. take jason maxiell for example good collge player, undersized alot of people probably thought he wouldnt be a very good pro but look at him now. a lot of good college players who people dont believe will be good pros end up going to good temas and develop much better.

Timmay97 9 years, 11 months ago

Personally, Darnell Jackson would be the perfect pick for a team like Boston. He would simply be a roll player and an energy guy that would come in, suck up some minutes and give the other team hell. Glen Davis does NOT do this for Boston. Darnell runs the floor better and and has that little short range jumper. Plus, he's a decent free throw shooter. God I hope someone picks him. He deserves it!

swjhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

I echo the other comments. He was and is my "favorite" and wish him great success in life. Not since Kelly Knight have I seen a player play with such heart. It makes you proud to be a Jayhawk when there are such representatives of the school.

kcphantom 9 years, 11 months ago

Of all of the champs, Jackson will forever be my favorite. His excitement and his never quit attitude is the embodiment of the Jayhawk nation.Best of luck to him in whatever happens on draft night and in the future!

DrPepper 9 years, 11 months ago

I am going to miss that great attitude. I hope he gets with a team that he can develop with.

Craig Lang 9 years, 11 months ago

That's pretty wishful thinking, smitty. Personally, I like to see the Jayhawks spread out. I think that increases KU's influence on the NBA. I definitely want Hinrich to stay in Chicago, and Pierce to lead Boston. I like the idea of Rush going to Phoenix and Jackson in San Antonio. If Arthur's going to go later in the first round (what a lot of people are saying), then I say he'd be good at Utah. As for Mario, he'd be a good addition to the Pacers, but it's hard to imagine any team that couldn't benefit from having him on the team.

JJHAWK 9 years, 11 months ago

Darnell,Best of luck buddy. The Jayhawk nation wishes you nothing but success. With your attitude I'm pretty sure you will experience it, no matter where life takes you.

cklarock 9 years, 11 months ago

Darnell Jackson is everything we want our Jayhawks to be. What an attitude. He's been through the ringer, and come out the other side as a World Champion.Congratulations Darnell, and remember, you'll always have 80,000 friends here in Lawrence. You and your teammates inspired the Jayhawk Nation, and sent us over the moon.I believe there's a spot for you in the NBA, but if it doesn't come calling right away, you could do much worse than cashing a paycheck in Euros somewhere in Southern Spain or Italy. :)

Dirk Medema 9 years, 11 months ago

Though the Warriors are the Golden State Warriors, their home games are in Oakland.

Chris Weaver 9 years, 11 months ago

the nagging criticism of roy's teams were that they were "soft." i recall watching coach self's first exhibition game on tv, and my eyes jumped out of my sockets when DJ took the floor. "we're not going to be called soft anymore!" my buddy said. how true how true. DJ was the engine of the championship team and if you recall, was the only one who looked like he wanted to beat UCLA last year in the elite eight. the detroit pistons seem like a match made in heaven for DJ. lunch pale workers - more heart than flash - defensive - within themselves - and not afraid.good luck DJ - make us all proud when they call your name on thursday!

smitty33 9 years, 11 months ago

Chicago drafts Rose and trades Hinrich to Boston.Beasley and Walker get drafted by Denver to join Melo and every other Mizzery Tiger who's in the NBA. Boston drafts Rush and DBlock. Pollard gets healthy and signs again with Celts.I'm wishing hard for more reason to watch the NBA. Maybe they could add an expansion team to KC and have all X-Jayhawks.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 11 months ago

Check out the espn article - Draft Rater: Which big men will become the best pros? takes a very analytical approach to evaluations and has some interesting results. Michael Beasley, Kansas State, 19.31, is by far the best rated big man and player (a similar page rates perimeter players), followed by Certain High-Lottery pick Kevin Love, UCLA, 17.80, Potential lottery picks Darrell Arthur, Kansas, 15.82; Marreese Speights, Florida, 15.02, Solid first-rounders Brook Lopez, Stanford 14.21; Roy Hibbert, Georgetown 14.05Fringe first-roundersKosta Koufos, Ohio State, 13.32; and the 8th best big manDarnell Jackson, Kansas 13.17;"Darnell Jackson appears to be a potential second-round steal."...DeAndre Jordan, Texas A&M, 13.17; ...D.J. White, Indiana 12.63; ...The Riff-RaffJoseph Jones, Texas A&M 12.36, ...Sasha Kaun, Kansas, 12.09; Robin Lopez, Stanford, 12.08.Better Update That PassportGreg Stiemsma, Wisconsin, 11.96; Joey Dorsey, Memphis, 11.87; Aleks Maric, Nebraska, 11.73; David Padgett, Louisville, 11.51;... Longar Longar, Oklahoma 10.10....Between Me and the Scouts, One of Us Will Look Like an IdiotAnthony Randolph, LSU, 9.85Interesting article (commentary and analysis) as well as another for the perimeter players where Mario shines bright.

DSommersby 9 years, 11 months ago

Three passionate chest pounds for Darnell! Keep your 'can do' attitude and focus on grabbing up rebounds like the man you are and playing great defense and you will find your home on a NBA team! Rock Chalk Champions!

9 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the link, justanotherfan. How cool would that be if they were all taken as Ford and Simmons predict?? Not only awesome for Arthur, Chalmers, and Rush, but talk about a nice recruiting tool...

justanotherfan 9 years, 11 months ago's another mock draft on Chad Ford and Bill Simmons did the lottery picks, and Arthur, Rush and Chalmers all went in the lottery, according to them.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

"I plan on having a great and successful life no matter what happens," Jackson said.This is one of the greatest quotes I've ever read in sports journalism. It ought to be etched in stone some where on or in Allen Field House.I would draft this guy before some of the first rounders. DBlock has the right stuff. In the end, the guys with the right stuff become accomplished in their fields than those lacking the right stuff, regardless of talent level.Draft this man, NBA GMs, if you want pay back on your money. He was as important as any guy on the team in getting us to the NC banner.He has an NBA body and the right stuff. He WILL play.

Fred Vance 9 years, 11 months ago

Darnell Jackson is a class act. I wish him and his family nothing but the best. Darnell, we are proud of you!!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.