Dime: How did they reach out to you?
Christian Jackson: This was an all right event. This was an all right event. You know what I’m saying? All of this gear, c’mon man!
Dime: What’s the hardest part about playing in an event like this? Is it playing with guys you don’t know?
CJ: Yeah, I just believe if you play your game then you will be noticeable. If you don’t try to take all the shots… a lot of times that makes you look bad. The thing to do is really be a team player and share the ball, and you will get your touches. Everybody is from different places, everybody is trying to shine but that makes the game kind of sloppy. The best thing to do is make the game come to you and settle down and you do get noticed. We lost the first game because guys were trying to take every shot and get themselves noticed. You don’t get yourself noticed like that. You get yourself noticed by playing hard and picking your shots.
Dime: You’re from D.C.?
CJ: Yeah, I’m from Carroll High School and went to Manhattan. I played for the Jaspers as a freshman in 2006. We won the conference that year, and it was a great experience. Bobby Gonzalez, he gave me a chance not only to play the game of basketball but to change my life and better my life. I appreciate him for that.
Dime: Are you playing anywhere right now?
CJ: Right now I’m just finishing school. I’m in my last semester of school and hopefully after this, I’ll try to go overseas and make some money. If not, then I’ll just use my degree. I work with kids and have my own camp. It’s Boo Jackson Skills Camp. That’s about it.
Dime: I saw that you were talking some smack out there…
CJ: (laughs) I’ve been playing with these guys since I was young. A lot of these guys are older than me but they gave me a chance at a young age. They never looked down on me or put me off the court. They allowed me to play with them, so by allowing me to play with them, you get that grit and you get that confidence and develop that confidence. Basketball is all about confidence, and just to have that confidence to go out there, have fun and play your game, you can’t beat it. Confidence is everything. That’s what I try to do. A lot of times I’m not the fastest or I’m not the most athletic. But when it comes to confidence, I know I’m probably one of the most confident people in the gym. That’s what carries over into my game.
Dime: How would you describe your game?
CJ: My game is just an old man’s game… just take what they give you. Don’t overuse your dribble. It’s sort of like a Paul Pierce game, just pick my spots when I’m comfortable, when I’m gonna make shots. That’s my game. I like to shoot the outside shot, get that going early and then after that you can drive to the basket and create a shot that way. If not, you can create shots for your team. I’m playing for a team now where my coach is always telling me I’ll be better when I start using my teammates and learning the pro game. I’m so used to playing on the college level where everything is me, me me, I, I, I. When you see the floor, and get guys shots especially when you drive to the basket and guys suck in, all of these good shooters like Corey Allmond, they knocking down shots and makes it easier for me. That’s just learning the pro game and what I’m doing right now. It’s fun and I enjoy it.
Dime: Was the talent level what you expected?
CJ: The talent level here was great today. Guys played hard. Everybody got along other than a little scuffle. You had a lot of D-1 guys, a lot of pro guys. It was great. It was great exposure. I appreciate Reebok and Red Bull for putting on this event.