Jackson, Mervin - Basketball, 1979
A star basketball player at Beach High School, Jackson lead his team to two state championships, two city titles, a state all-class championship, and a third place finish in the National Negro High School Tournament. He was and all-city and all-state athlete.
After his prep career, Jackson went on to Utah – where he was instrumental in leading his team to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) title and NCAA finals. He garnered most valuable player honors in the Sugar Bowl Tournament and was named to Look Magazine’s Writers Association All-American Team in his senior year. Jackson was also selected to the Helms Athletic Foundation All-American team and to NEA honorable mention. Jackson lead the WAC with a 24-point average and 0.938 free-throw percentage; and was named Conference Player of the Year and appointed to the All-District Seven NCAA squad.
From college, Jackson was drafted in the second round by Seattle of the National Basketball Association, but elected to sign with the Los Angeles Stars of the fledgling American Basketball Association. He achieved All-ABA Rookie Team status his first year and lead Los Angeles to the Western Division titles his second year. In the professional ranks, he gained a solid reputation as one of the top free-throw marksmen in the game; he hit better than 82 % from the charity stripe his first two years on with the Stars. He became one of the premier “homerun” shooters in the ABA with numerous three-point baskets outside the 25-foot range.