MANILA, Philippines – The UE Red Warriors’ quest for a return to the UAAP men’s basketball Final Four gathered momentum as head coach Jack Santiago confirmed that they’ve added a new foreign student-athlete (FSA) in versatile 6-foot-7 standout Delveion Jackson.
The 24-year-old Jackson, who can play both inside and in the perimeter, is expected to arrive at the University of the East in April, giving both sides almost half a year to prepare for a UAAP Season 86 campaign where the Red Warriors look to improve on their 4-9 record last year.
“Magaling at maayos,” was how Santiago described his new recruit, who is eligible for only one season. “Tumatakbo, may depensa, at meron sa kanya yung mga kailangan namin.”
(He’s good. He runs, plays good defense, and he has the qualities that we need.)
The insertion of Jackson comes timely for a UE men’s basketball roster looking to retool their frontcourt depth following the departure of impressive youngling Gani Stevens, who is expected to transfer to another university.
“He will be our main man inside the paint,” Santiago said of his new FSA. He added that the Red Warriors will continue recruiting big men as they aim to return to the Final Four for the first time since making the UAAP Finals way back in 2009.
“I need to get a good replacement [for Stevens] or at least an average big guy that will take his spot.”
UE has also lost the services of players who maximized their eligibility such as Luis Villegas, a Mythical Five member, and sharpshooter CJ Payawal.
Jackson averaged 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists a contest as a senior for Centennial High School, making it to the All-Idaho State 5A First-Team and leading his team to a first runner-up finish in the Idaho State 5A Boys’ Basketball Tournament.
He then played minimal minutes in 18 games as a freshman for the UC Davis Aggies in US NCAA Division 1 basketball before ultimately finding a role with North Idaho College in the Northwest Athletic Conference.
Jackson, who was discovered by Fil-Am Nation Select’s developmental program, grew 8 inches in between his freshman and sophomore collegiate seasons, allowing him to maintain his guard-like, ball-handling skills while developing into the size of a tall wing who can also play center in the Philippine college basketball scene.
The Boise, Idaho native led NIC to a 4-1 record in the 2020 season before it was cut short due to the COVID pandemic, averaging 20 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.7 steals on 59% shooting from the field.
He can run the floor well for his size, is dangerous in transition, can finish near the rim, drive to the basket, rebound the leather, and find open teammates.
He joins a UE squad that will still be powered by the likes of explosive scoring guard Kyle Paranada and breakout prospect Rey Remogat. – Rappler
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