The last time Josh Jackson was in the New York area, he scored 50 points in the Big Strick Classic.
Friday night in Brooklyn, Jackson hit 50 again — twice — as he won the Elite 24 slam dunk contest with perfect scores in the semifinal and final rounds.
Jackson, who plays for Prolific Prep in California and is ranked as the No. 3 player in the Class of 2016 by ESPN, also figures to be the star Saturday’s 10th annual Elite 24 showcase.
Jackson beat Baylor commit Mark Vital in the final. His 50 came when he tossed the ball off the backboard, caught it with his left hand, went between the legs and powered home the windmill with his right.
“I was a little nervous,” Jackson said on ESPNU. “I know a lot of the guys participating can jump a lot higher than me iso I just had to execute my dunks.”
Vital, who plays for Prime Prep in Dallas, was unable to complete the dazzling dunk he attempted several times and was forced to a more conservative dunk as time expired. Vital had Terrance Ferguson hold the ball behind his neck a few feet from the basket and Vital attempted to snatch the ball as he went by and throw it down.
In the semifinals, Jackson jumped over a teammate for a dunk that garnered a 50. Vital also got a 50 by jumping over three players and throwing it down with his right hand.
Earlier in the night, Ferguson won the three-point contest. A noted dunker, he did not advance to the finals in the dunk contest after posting a score of zero by not completing any of his attempts.
As for Saturday, Jackson was prodded by ESPNU’s Jay Williams as to whether he was aiming to post 50 points again.
“No clue,” Jackson said when asked what he had in mind. “Maybe 55, ..
“I’ll try,” he said smiling.