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Fan favorite Darnell Jackson always happy to return to Lawrence

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Former Kansas forward Darnell Jackson is recognized before the field house crowd during Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015.

Former Kansas forward Darnell Jackson is recognized before the field house crowd during Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. by Nick Krug

This coming season season marks the 10-year anniversary of KU’s most recent basketball national title. The years haven’t dulled the thrill for Darnell Jackson, a member of the KU starting five then and for Rosa Random of the Polish professional basketball league now.

Jackson averaged 10.5 points and six rebounds for the 2007-08 Jayhawks in his senior season. He averaged 10.5 points and six rebounds for Rosa Random this past season.

“I get the chills every time I come back here, look at the posters, the pictures, the jerseys,” Jackson said.

He said he wished he could go back and do it all over again, but knows it doesn’t work that way, so he maintains a positive attitude playing in various foreign countries.

“I’ve been doing it for so long,” Jackson said of playing professionally in Europe. “I enjoy it. I love traveling and seeing different places I’ve never seen before. That’s the blessing I get out of it, just experiencing different people, different foods. The culture, I just soak it all in.”

Jackson played in 138 NBA games for three different teams in three seasons.

He recently finished his sixth season in Europe and is living in Los Angeles with his wife and their 2-year-old son, Maceo. They joined Jackson in Poland this past season, which made it an enjoyable one for him, compared to earlier years.

“The most difficult part is being by yourself for six, seven months and having nobody around," Jackson said of the down side of playing in Europe.

He won't feel alone tonight playing in the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic at Free State High. Jackson was always a fan favorite and he'll feel the love again from the crowd.

Comments

Ben Berglund 4 months, 1 week ago

Darnell was definitely one of my favorites. Glad (and proud) that's he's been able to make a nice career out of it.

Mike Greer 4 months, 1 week ago

He was one of mine too. It seemed like he always had a highlight reel dunk or something that got the fans to their feet.

Titus Canby 4 months, 1 week ago

Great player and even a greater human being. I always appreciated how he'd take a cheap shot from an opposing player, and just smile. I always suspected that scared the poop out of opposing players. Darnell is a terrific ambassador for the university. I'm proud to call him a Jayhawk, and it's great to have him back in town. Thanks Darnell.

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