This time two years ago, Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) guard Frank Jackson can vividly remember watching Duke’s talented freshman class of Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen, famously dubbed the “Four Quarters,” suit up for the McDonald’s All American Game.
That group went on to win the 2015 national title and sent Okafor, Jones and Winslow to the NBA draft’s first round. Allen is starring for the Blue Devils this season averaging 20.6 points and 4.8 rebounds a game.
Jackson, who received his honorary McDonald’s All American Game jersey Friday during a ceremony at his school as part of the McDonald’s All American Game Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance, thinks this year’s class can have a similar impact next season.
“We have a lot of talented players coming in,” said Jackson, who signed with Duke in November. “I know that we’ll have a lot of pressure, but we’re all ready for that. I wish we were all playing together at McDonald’s that would be fun.”
Jackson will go head-to-head against his future Duke teammate Jayson Tatum, a forward at Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis) who is ranked No. 2 overall in the ESPN 100, at the McDonald’s All American Game.
Harry Giles III, the No. 1 overall player, would have undoubtedly been picked for the game, but he tore his ACL in his season opener with Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.). Giles has since transferred back home to rehab and attends Forest Trail Academy (Kernersville, N.C.). The fourth member of Duke’s class is Saint Annes-Belfield (Shipman, Va.) forward Javin DeLaurier.
“I think we have a lot of balance in this class and a lot of guys that can play multiple positions,” said Jackson, who is ranked No. 11 overall. “I know that we all feel like we have a chance to win it all. Just looking at what the 2014 class did, it’s not about how young you are, it’s about playing together and everyone playing their role to make the team great.”
This past summer while running with the Utah Prospects, Jackson averaged 23.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists a game on the adidas Gauntlet. He shot 56.2 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from three-point range.
In January, he went for 49 points in a head-to-head matchup with fellow McDonald’s All American Kobi Jordan-Simmons at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.
This season he’s averaging 29 points a game.
“It’s such an honor to be able to put this McDonald’s jersey on,” Jackson said. “I know I’ll feel the same way when I put my Duke jersey on for the first time.”