Josh Jackson, the nation’s top uncommitted basketball player, will not play in the Jordan Brand Classic, citing academic demands and travel, Prolific Prep co-director Phillipe Doherty confirmed Thursday.
Jackson was listed on the initial roster when it was announced in January. His name was not included when the final rosters were officially revealed Thursday.
The Jordan Brand Classic is April 15 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. According to Doherty, Jackson would have had to leave California on Monday to arrive in time for Jordan Brand events that begin Tuesday in advance of Friday’s game. That meant Jackson would have missed a full week of school at Justin Siena, where the Prolific Prep players take classes, Doherty said.
Doherty said Jackson is taking seven classes this semester and Jackson’s mother, Apple Jones, decided against allowing him to miss that much class time.
Jackson, a five-star prospect who is deciding among Arizona, Kansas and Michigan State, was in Chicago this week for the McDonald’s All American Game and was named the game’s co-Most Valuable Player. Justin Siena was on spring break this week.
Jackson still plans to play in the Nike Hoop Summit on April 9 in Portland. USA Basketball is allowing him to arrive the day before the game, Doherty said. Jackson has won gold medals the last three summers with USA Basketball teams in international competition.
He becomes the second high-profile player in two years to miss the Jordan Brand Classic. Last year, Ben Simmons from Montverde Academy (Fla.) was in Chicago for McDonald’s and went to Portland for the Hoop Summit but announced the day after the Hoop Summit that he would not play in the Jordan Classic.