Overland Park (KS) Blue Valley Northwest guard Darien Jackson officially signed with Tulsa on Wednesday. The 3-star prospect committed to TU on February 23 after an official visit.
“Tulsa was one of the first schools to recruit me two years ago, and they haven't stopped ever since," he told Inside Tulsa Sports shortly after committing to Tulsa. "Some schools popped in and out, but I feel like Tulsa has been the most loyal to me. Also, when I went on my visit, I really connected with the team and coaches. I can see myself playing for Coach (Frank) Haith - his style of play matches me.
"The campus is so nice. I like how everything is so close together, and you don't really have to travel that far to get to places. Also, the basketball facilities are amazing."
The 6-foot-2 and 180-pounder joins November signees DaQuan Jeffries of Western Texas CC and Elijah Joiner of Chicago (IL) Curie in the 2017 signing class.
"We have been recruiting Darien and following his career since I arrived at Tulsa, and we are excited to keep the great pipeline from Kansas City to Tulsa strong," said Tulsa head coach Frank Haith. "Darien is an outstanding young man and one of Kansas City's premier players over the last few seasons. We really like his speed and athleticism, but most importantly, we like his leadership abilities and winning pedigree. We know he comes into our program well-coached, and we are excited to welcome Darien to Tulsa Nation."
As a senior, Jackson led his team to a 22-3 record and the Class 6A state title, averaging 18.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He averaged over 20 points per game in the state tournament and scored 26 points in the championship game.
Jackson was a unanimous first-team All-State pick as a senior and was nominated for the McDonald’s All-American Game. He was named the Class 6A Boys Player of the Year by Sports in Kansas and was selected to the All-Eastern Kansas League first-team.
"First of all, Tulsa is getting a great person," Blue Valley Northwest head boys basketball coach Ed Fritz said in a statement. "Darien is someone who gets along with all types of people and is easy-going off the court. On the court, he's a very explosive player who has a lot of quickness and can get to the basket. He has developed into a great teammate, and I'm really proud of how he's grown over the last four years.
“Darien loves to win and will do whatever it takes to help the team. I know he's been working hard since our state title game so that he can go down to Tulsa and make an impact right away."
The talented guard also held scholarship offers from Kansas State, Air Force, Illinois State, UTEP, Tulane, UMKC and others. He has been ranked as high as No. 142 nationally by Rivals.com.
"He's more of a slashing two guard who prefers the drive over the jumper, but he can defend either the one or the two," said Rivals.com National Analyst Eric Bossi. "He rebounds his position very well and is a plus athlete. I really like the idea of him and a scorer like Elijah Joiner together."