Over the summer, UPLAY (Canada) was one of the more impressive teams on the Nike EYBL circuit. Apart from being led by the No. 1 ranked recruit in 2022, Shaedon Sharpe, who opted to early enroll at Kentucky, UPLAY’s success is attributed to its deep talent pool that includes scoring guard DJ Jackson, West Virginia commit Josiah Davis, floor general Jaden Clayton, and big man Isaac Jack. Jack, who hails from British Columbia, is a high motor center with touch around the rim. Having transferred from Alberni District Secondary School in British Columbia to Fort Erie International Academy in Ontario to finish high school, Jack’s play has continued to perk the interest of numerous programs, evident by receiving an offer from University of California-Santa Barbara in November.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Jack highlighted his strengths of rebounding and bringing energy on the court, his experiences with UPLAY and Fort Erie International Academy, his enjoyment of the BC outdoors, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Isaac Jack, from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada:
Pro Insight: Talk a bit about your background.
Isaac Jack: Well, basically I come from a small town compared to most guys and I'm from Vancouver Island. It's just an island off Vancouver in [British Columbia] (BC). Yeah, I mean I grew up in a smaller city town. Same group of friends growing up. And I just enjoy being with family, and yeah.
PI: How did you get into basketball?
IJ: Yeah, I mean I got in because my mom played at BYU. She did I think maybe a year of basketball there before she switched to track, but she always thought that I should play basketball. Go, go, go. She introduced basketball to me and just kind of helped me get through the early stages and even now it's still when I'm back in BC, driving me to practices and whatnot, so she's definitely the reason.
PI: Would you say you got your height from your mom?
IJ: Yes, so both my parents are tall…so my mom is like six feet and my dad's like 6’4” so I got a lot of extra height, but I got my height from her, for sure.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
IJ: Yeah, I grew up doing everything. I mean, I played hockey a lot, competitive hockey growing up. I did everything. I was in track [and field]. Did a little bit of middle school rugby. I rode my bike. I snowboarded. I was always active.
PI: Tough to beat the mountains in BC for snowboarding.
IJ: Yeah exactly. I mean, it’s a great place for it.
PI: What are your current measurements?
IJ: I don't know my wingspan. I'm 6’11” and about 230, 240 pounds.
PI: For those that aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths and play style?
IJ: My greatest strength, probably just I got a motor. I mean, I like to go, go, go. Always got a lot of energy. You know, rebounding the ball, scoring down low. That’s what I’m probably best at and then my play style, just trying to be a dog. Win all 50/50 balls, get every rebound. Just play hard at all times.
PI: Who do you model your game after and try to study on film?
IJ: Yeah, I mean definitely I really look up to Giannis. I mean the same sort of thing like he's got a killer mentality. He always wants to win. Love how aggressive he is when attacking the rim. It’s for sure him, yeah.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most? What have you been working on?
IJ: Just shooting deeper shots, you know, taking more threes. Making them count, especially. Yeah, probably overall just shooting. Become a better ball handler, obviously.
PI: Do you have a training regimen?
IJ: No, I wouldn't say I don't have any regimens or whatnot. Yeah, I always obviously have to end on a make, but besides that, I don't usually do anything specific. It depends on when I get there, what we're doing.
PI: Who do you train with?
IJ: Yeah, the Fort Erie guys, Coach Charles, Coach Kav, Coach Scotty and Coach Handel. But back in BC, a lot of my training is with West Coast Training. So they have a little program out there and great stuff. They're in Vancouver so I gotta take a ferry ride over to get there, but I definitely try to get there one or two times a week 'cause we do great things. I also train with… there’s a local college near me, VIU - Vancouver Island University. I do a lot of scrimmages with them and their assistant coach will help me out a lot like coming up through living on the island and stuff.
PI: Talk a bit about the basketball culture in BC.
IJ: I mean basketball first of all in Canada I think is getting a lot better. I mean we have all these new people coming in, but BC itself, same thing like each year it seems like it's getting better and better. More people are coming out of BC. More people are just being seen from out there. I think each year the competition there gets better and better so you just love to see it.
PI: How has your experience at Fort Erie been so far?
IJ: It's been awesome. I mean, everybody's been great. We're in the gym all the time. It's pretty fun. Our success so far has been good. Overall, just a great experience, super happy I'm here.
PI: How was your experience with UPLAY? What was one of your favorite memories?
IJ: I don't even know, just being with everybody at the team house and whatnot. Just being all together, I mean so many memories and laughs that happened on that trip, well both of them even. Yeah, it was a great experience. Good fun. Just to be with a bunch of guys, they all want to win. We all get along, have the same interests, like main interest I should say. Just getting to travel with them and see new things.
PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?
IJ: As a player, just always expanding my game. If it's like in the gym, in the weight room or even in the actual gym, just always be getting better.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
IJ: Definitely when I’m not playing basketball, just being around people like friends and family. I love doing something again. Again, I'm from BC so I like going outdoors, doing stuff like that. Going to see places if it's being at the lake doing some sort of water sport or whatnot. Just being around good people.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
IJ: Favorite music artist…it's gotta be like Polo G and like YoungBoy, probably. And I mean like everyone likes Drake. Universal thing.
PI: If you were stuck forever on a deserted island and had all the food, water, and shelter you needed — what three personal items would you bring?
IJ: Hands down duct tape. Duct tape, for sure. I mean, it does everything. Duct tape. Probably something to pass the time. Maybe like a couple good board games and then bring a friend also so I’m not stuck there alone. We can play some board games.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
PI: What’s your recruitment update?
IJ: I picked up my first offer from University of California-Santa Barbara. Yeah, I mean I'm talking to a couple places, but nothing serious. I mean coming here, definitely boosted a lot. I had nothing really coming into this so after getting here, it's been doing a lot better, but I'm talking to a few different places, but nothing else yet.
PI: Who would you like to hear from?
IJ: If I’m thinking like dream schools, definitely Oregon near home on the coast. It’s a great school.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice?
IJ: I'm not saying it's completely dependent on it, but I would like it if it was somewhat close to home. I don't need to travel however many hours just to get home and like how many flights. That's definitely a big one. Just what they're willing to do, if it's a good fit for me and my play style.
PI: How would you define the word ‘success?’
IJ: Maybe satisfied. You know, like once you're happy with what you've done. I’d probably say that’s what success is, when you're happy or satisfied, probably. Just simply satisfied because I think you should stop trying to keep reaching for something new once you're satisfied with things, that's only when you're successful and what you think is successful.
PI: Who’s someone you really look up to?
IJ: My mom, definitely. She's always inspired me to do my best. She works hard at everything she does. She looks out for other people before she looks out for herself. I mean, she's a great role model. Yeah, I definitely really look up to her.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
IJ: Fun, tall, happy, and energetic.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
IJ: I'd say this for both player and person, I just want to be [remembered] as a good guy – a good, fun, and nice guy. Someone who always worked hard. Yeah, it would be someone that was remembered for working hard and always giving it their all.