Demetrius Jackson shows point guard skills to Pistons

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Demetrius Jackson

Auburn Hills — After playing basketball for most of his life, Demetrius Jackson never managed to see an NBA game in person.

“It just never worked out,” he said. “Obviously you want to go and watch and it’s really cool.”

He crossed that off his to-do list in April.

While on vacation, Jackson got an up-close view of Detroit, which was playing at Orlando.

Now, Jackson is trying to solidify his spot in the NBA draft, working out for the Pistons on Monday. Jackson, who played three years at Notre Dame, is one of the top prospects at point guard and is projected to be selected anywhere between the lottery to late teens in the first round.

The 6-foot-2, 193-pound Jackson, who helped the Fighting Irish to back-to-back Elite Eight appearances, said he’s worked out for a few teams higher — including the Raptors at No. 9 — and lower in the first round.

“(I’m showing) just being a point, being able to facilitate, pass the ball, play defense, maneuver on the pick-and-roll, just everything you need to do to be a successful guard,” Jackson said. “Show the ability and willingness to be able to separate myself from the other guards, not only in the draft, but going forward.”

His junior season, Jackson averaged 15.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists and shot 33 percent on 3-pointers.

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Whether it’s with the Pistons or another team, Jackson likely will have his chance to be watching NBA games from the bench instead of from the stands. He always wanted to go to an NBA game but the opportunity just never presented itself.

Idol worship

Jackson got a chance to fulfill another childhood dream Monday.

He met Pistons assistant Tim Hardaway Sr., one of his favorite players. The workout also gave Jackson a chance to get some of pointers from Hardaway, including his crossover dribbling.

“I liked Tim and was picking his brain with his crossover, with guards and what they can do,” Jackson said. “He wouldn’t give away the whole secret but he showed me a little bit.”

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard