For hall inductee Jermaine Jackson, Titan glory led to career in NBA

Growing up in Detroit, Jermaine Jackson, who was recently inducted into the Titan Hall of Fame, wasn't going to let challenges stop him from reaching his dreams.Raised on the east side, Jackson looked after three younger sisters. He knew he had to set an example by doing the right thing.

At Finney High, Jackson was a six-foot-four point guard who could score. In his senior year, he led the team to the state semi-finals.

Recruiters from major colleges came calling.

"My decision wasn't that hard for me to make," he said. "I knew I wanted the person who I loved most – my mom – to be there as I took on a new journey."

In 1996, coach Perry Watson brought Jackson to UDM.

"When Jermaine played, he helped bring this program back to the top, along with his teammates," said Watson. "I have never had a player like Jackson. He just played with a chip on his shoulder. He was a four-year starter for me."

As his career at Calihan Hall progressed, Jackson sensed that his dream of playing in the NBA might become a reality, but that it was going to take a great senior year. He rose to the challenge, averaging 13.9 points that season, and earning honors as the Horizon League player of the year.

The Titans went to the NCAA tournament twice during his stay, and upset UCLA in the first round once.

In four years at Detroit Mercy, Jackson compiled 1,341 points, putting him 18th on the all-time Titan list. He was the fourth Titan in history to top 500 career assists.

Though he wasn't taken in the NBA draft, Jackson signed with the Pistons and began a career that spanned parts of five seasons with several teams. After his NBA days, he headed to Europe, where he continues to play professionally.