Darien Jackson played his freshman year at Blue Valley Northwest making it to the junior varsity team.
Just prior to his sophomore year, he learned that the Kansas State High School Activities Association had ruled under the transfer rule that he had to play on the sub-varsity level during the 2014-15 season. He could have gone to another school, but decided to stay at BV Northwest and played again on the JV team.
Not an easy decision for one of the top prospects in the state of Kansas.
“Blue Valley Northwest is a school that I feel comfortable at,” he says. “I love everyone there. Northwest plays a big role in my life. The teachers, coaches, friends and teammates are always there for me and willing to help me out with anything. This school is like family.”
It wasn’t only basketball that attracted the junior to BV Northwest.
“I knew that I had the chance to get a better education if I went there,” he says.
And another factor was Tristen Hull. He played at BV Northwest for two years, but is living in California now.
“Tristen and I played together starting in the second grade,” Jackson says.
What did he learn with another year on the JV team?
“I learned that it is not all about me,” he says. “It is about the team and what is right for the team.”
He started in basketball because of older brother Donnell Bronson, who played at BV Southwest.
“I was the youngest so I wanted to be just like him when got to be his age,” he says.
The six-foot, three-inch senior guard is one of the top juniors in the state of Kansas leading the Huskies in scoring at 18.3 per game. He averages 2.9 steals and 2.4 assists per contest, and he helped lead the Huskies to an 19-6 record and fourth place at the Class 6A state tournament in Wichita in early March.
Jackson was named to the second team all-state team by both the Topeka Capitol-Journal and the Wichita Beacon. All the first team picks were seniors.
What are his strengths as a player?
“I am a slasher,” he says.
What does he need to work on?
“I need to work on my ball handling and free throws,” he says. “And being a leader on and off the court.”
Jackson started wearing goggles at the St. Thomas Aquinas game in early February.
“I found that I could not see very well, and goggles help my vision,” he says. “I had been so use to my sight, I did not realize how beneficial glasses could be.”
Veteran BV Northwest coach Ed Fritz is impressed with his junior guard.
“Darien is an athletic combo guard that can get to the rim or hit jump shots,” says Fritz . “He does a very good job creating his own shot.
“He also leads our team in assists, and perhaps his best quality is finding the open man. Sometimes he can too unselfish when we need him to score.”
Frtiz adds that Jackson is an important part of the team.
“The players on our team look up to Darien because of his leadership ability and personality,” he says. “He can joke with his teammates, but also he knows when to be serious.”
College basketball coaches have noticed Jackson’s play at BV Northwest and his off-season KC Run GMC team, which includes many of the top players in the greater Kansas City area.
Colleges that indicated interest Jackson playing his college basketball for their school include Kansas State, Weber State, Illinois State, UMKC, Bradley, Creighton, Nebraska, Iowa, UTEP, Kansas and Wichita State.
And that list could grow with his play this spring and summer with KC Run GMC and BV Northwest next school year.
“Darien has loads of untapped potential, and by working hard day in and day out, we hope to help him maximize his potential so that he can contribute to a successful college program,” adds Fritz.