There are plenty of “feel good” stories in the NBA. Every player has their own story of how they made it to the league and how they had to fight through lots of obstacles. Pierre Jackson, otherwise known as PappyJack or PappyGawd, is not an exception to this trend.
After high school, Jackson’s great play started at a junior college named College of Southern Idaho. The 5’10” point guard led his team NJCAA National Championship while grabbing tournament MVP with a stat line of 18.6 points and 4.4 assists per game. Then, Baylor decided to take a chance and recruited the point guard who everyone believed was undersized. Jackson had a great Junior year at Baylor when he led them to an Elite Eight appearance with averages of 13.8 points and 5.9 assists. The next season he finished with his second second-team all-Big12 honor and Baylor won the NIT championship as well.
So through high school, junior college, and college, this undersized guard has been exceeding all expectations while showing his doubters that he can lead a team despite his height. His will to be the best he could be was at the a superior to level as compared to a lot of the players he faced.
His biggest challenge was going to be making it on a NBA team. He was originally selected as the 42nd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, but then was traded as a part of the Nerlens Noel for Jrue Holiday swap. He ended up not making the Pelicans’ roster, and playing for the Idaho Stampede in the D-League. While there, his determination grew and he was selected to their all-star game and also had a 58-point outburst in a game to break the single game scoring record.
The very next season Pierre Jackson was then traded back to the 76ers. A lot of the diehard Sixers fans were excited to watch him play in the Summer League, but then some bad luck struck. He ruptured his achilles in the first half of the first Summer League game and he couldn’t play another game for the rest of the season.
Throughout the whole season, Jackson was releasing videos and using the hashtag “#THEYSLEEP.” He wanted to show everyone that he wasn’t going to give up and he was going to get into the NBA if it killed him.
So here we are in 2015. PappyJack is back on the floor with the Sixers’ Summer League roster. After averaging around 12 points per game in a couple games, the Sixers have officially signed him to a new contract. So take this as a lesson kids, never give up on your dreams. Even if injuries occur, or you think you’re down on your luck, keep grinding and keep pushing yourself. Jackson wouldn’t have gotten here if he didn’t keep working twice as hard as everyone else. THEY SLEEP!