Recently IMG Academy has hired well known Chicago based Loren Jackson. He is recognized for his coaching success at Julian High and the Boys to Men Academy, which he founded. Jackson has found success on the court by coaching his team to two regional championships, five Chicago Public Schools Final Fours and his Academy team was named National Christian Prep School champions in 2005. IMG gets to know their new coach a little better. Loren Jackson on...
...where he discovered his love for the Game: I have been dribbling a ball since I can remember. I came out the womb playing ball. My father actually played for the Harlem Globetrotters, so we played all the time. I did love to play the game, don't get me wrong but teaching the game made me appreciate what it was capable of doing to a young mind; changing it for the better.
...the best player he has coached: I have had the pleasure and honor of coaching some of the more talented players in the state of Chicago. I really cant single one out because I believe all my players bring something different to the formula of success and without that ingredient we would have never succeeded. My favorite coaching experience though was coaching the 43rd annual 2007 RoundBall Classic West All-Star Team. We're talking about coaching future stars of the NBA and abroad, I was nervous. Alumni of the Roundball Classic include some names you might have heard of like Lebron James, Dwight Howard and OJ Mayo. To name a couple of the guys that we had on the 2007 team, Jonny Flynn, James Hickson, Kevin Love, Evan Turner and Corey Stokes. The entire team was really good.
...his coaching philosophy/ style: I'm a firm believer that this game transcends just the physical skills of the athlete. That was the whole focus of my Boys to Men Academy. I believe every man has to travel his own path, the kids will come in as boys and leave with the ability to give back to society as men. The game of basketball along with a nurturing coach can bring that out of a young kid. My style.. I would say I think of myself as a mixture between Rick Pitino and John Calipari. I love uptempo aggressive basketball. Run the other team up and down the court, change the defensive looks on them and keep them guessing.
...what he hopes to add to the IMG Family: Hopefully my 20 years of coaching experience, athlete development and camp management will help me to successfully relate, teach and be a mentor to the kids that come to the Academy. Being a teacher at heart and professionally I feel myself and the children will understand each other. By having an open door policy, I encourage communication on all levels. I treat all my student-athletes like their my own.
...how Chicago hoops compares to New York or LA for raw talent: Man that's a deep question. 'Chi-Town' of course represents on all fronts when it comes to basketball. It's the 'playground atmosphere', some of the best talent that the world has ever seen has come from places with the 'playground atmosphere' Chicago, New York, L.A. and a lot of places like those. Chicago brings a different element to the mix of raw talent. In 'Chi-Town' I will say we produce a lot more guards than big men. These guards are quick and agile with the toughness to match.
Coach Jackson any closing thoughts:
"It's really good to be here. I hope to contribute in a large way to the students, program and staff of IMG"