Maryland sophomore Justin Jackson is turning pro, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who reports that the 6’7″ forward will enter the 2018 NBA draft and forgo his remaining years of NCAA eligibility. He’ll hire an agent in the near future, Givony adds.
“After talking with my family and weighing my options, it’s my desire to turn my full attention to preparing for a career in pro basketball,” Jackson told Givony.
Jackson tested the draft waters a year ago, but ultimately withdrew from consideration and returned to Maryland for his sophomore season. His stock appeared to be on the rise entering the 2017/18 campaign as he looked to solidify himself as a first-round pick in the ’18 draft.
However, a torn labrum slowed Jackson down at the start of the season and ultimately brought his year to an early end. Before he was shut down for the season, the sophomore forward tried to play through the injury, posting 9.8 PPG and 8.1 RPG on .366/.250/.828 shooting in 11 games.
Having undergone surgery to repair that torn labrum in December, Jackson hasn’t yet been cleared for all basketball activities, but hopes to be ready to play competitively at the May combine, per Givony. The Maryland prospect currently ranks 41st on Givony’s big board, but will have a chance to climb closer to first-round territory if he can show he’s fully recovered this spring.