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Jackson McAndrew Q&A

2024 four-star power forward Jackson McAndrew of Wayzata High School (MN) brings a special dimension to the game with his size, rebounding, and ability to hit shots from beyond the arc. During the 2023 EYCL season, the senior shot over 40% on his three-point attempts with Howard Pulley (MN). The top-ranked player in the state of Minnesota, McAndrew helped the Trojans to a state championship last year and is poised to lead his high school to a title repeat.

In this interview with Pro Insight’s Conrad Chow, McAndrew discussed how he started playing basketball, watching Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum’s game on film, why he chose Creighton, forming a connection with his future teammates, his dream NIL deal, and much more.

For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present Creighton signee Jackson McAndrew, from Plymouth, Minnesota:

Pro Insight: How did you get to where you are today? Talk a bit about your background and family.

Jackson McAndrew: Yeah, thanks for having me. So I'm from Minnesota. I live with all my family: my mom, my dad, my brother. Just growing up here all my life. I go to Wayzata and play basketball there. 

PI: When did you start playing basketball?

JM: So I've always kind of been around the game. My dad used to play and he got me into it. He played for North Dakota in college, so I mean, ever since I've been able to walk, I’ve had a ball around me. But I really started to play in leagues and stuff in probably like second grade, third grade.

PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?

JM: Yeah, I did. I played baseball and football, too.

PI: Your high school team is having a phenomenal season — how has your senior year been?

JM: Yeah, it's been great. You know, we got a great group of guys right now coming off of a state championship, looking to go back-to-back. I've had a great run so far this season. I think we're 22-1 so far or something like that (note: W-L record at the time of interview). So yeah, looking to go back-to-back. We got some things we need to take care of and get better at, but I think we definitely got a good shot. 

PI: For those who don’t know Minnesota WBB guard Mara Braun played at Wayzata, as well — what’s it like to have another elite athlete come out of your high school?

JM: Yeah, it's been really cool to see her do that. She's two years older than me, so I only got to know her a little bit, but it's cool to see someone from my high school go do that and obviously she's doing great things at Minnesota right now. 

PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths and playstyle?

JM: Yeah, I would say, like you said, I'm an elite shooter. I think I play with a very high IQ and I think I've gotten to the point where I've really improved my all-around game as well. I think I can handle it very well and be a good positional rebounder as well. I think I see the floor very well, and then defensively I think I'm a very good rim protector — at least at the high school level.

PI: Who do you model your game after or study on film?

JM: So I like to watch a lot of Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, guys like that. Those two are probably the two I watch the most, but I just kind of take things from everyone, honestly. 

PI: In what area(s) do you feel you impact winning?

JM: Yeah, I think I just do everything. I feel like I impact the game in so many different ways. So if there's nights where I'm not scoring as well, I still impact the game on the defensive end, playmaking, things like that. But I think I have an all-around impact on it. 

PI: Congratulations on being recently named to the 2024 Iverson Classic — how does it feel to earn that honor?

JM: Yeah, it's definitely a huge honor, something that going into the season, I really was trying to make one of these All-American games. So it's gonna be cool to play with all those guys in it and play against them and take things as well from the people that are running it, and I think it'll be an awesome experience.

PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?

JM: I think winning the state championship, finishing with the win, that's probably the main thing right now. I'm just really focused on that. And then I think all the other awards and stuff will come if that happens, and then just getting better, just getting as good as I can get before college and making sure I'm preparing well and I'm getting ready for it. 

PI: How was your experience playing AAU with Howard Pulley?

JM: It was definitely a great experience. We've had the same group of guys ever since 5th grade and then a couple more joined later in like 7th grade and we've all been together ever since. So we all played under Team Tyus, and then once we got into high school, it merged with Howard Pulley and so we've been doing that for a long time. We had great people over there, love playing with them, with all the guys and all the coaches as well. It was a great experience. 

PI: Switching gears a bit — congratulations on signing with Creighton! What set them apart? What made them different from the rest of your options?

JM: Yeah, so I think the thing with Creighton was a really good relationship with Coach Mac [McDermott] and all the guys on the staff, so that was obviously a big part of it. And then also how they play — I feel like my game complements that very well. I feel like it'll be pretty much the perfect fit for how I see it, and just at the pace and space that they play at. Also, their development plan they had for me coming in and helping me get to where I want to get to. 

PI: What was Coach McDermott’s reaction when you told him? Do you remember that moment?

JM: I do, yeah. It was definitely a very special moment calling him. Yeah, he was obviously very excited. We both were. I think he was at some event, but he left the room and it was just super exciting. It was a special moment for sure. 

PI: Have you had a chance to connect with the other guys in your class in Ty Davis and Larry Johnson?

JM: I have. Yeah, I have gotten to talk to both of them, build relationships with them and I went on a visit with Ty Davis to Creighton in early January, so I got to know him a lot better there and then, yeah, very excited to play with them. Obviously, very good players, good kids, and I’m excited for sure. 

PI: What’s your message to Creighton Bluejays fans who are excited about you joining the program?

JM: I would tell him that I'm gonna do whatever I can to win and to help them win and I think it will be a great time. 

PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?

JM: I'm just hanging out with family and friends and obviously just basketball takes up so much time. So I think that's just the main thing that I do off the court. 

PI: Who are your favorite music artists?

JM: I kind of like a little bit of everything. Honestly, if I had to go with my favorite one, it would probably be Drake. 

PI: Have you had a chance to attend a Drake concert?

JM: I have not. No, I haven't really been to that many concerts. But yeah, it would definitely be something I'd do in the future. 

PI: What is your favorite snack?

JM: I try to make my snacks more healthy. I’d probably go trail mix. 

PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?

JM: That's a good question. I’d probably just say #TrustGod. It would probably be it, yeah. 

PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career as a professional hooper, what do you think you would choose to do?

JM: I think I would say business is definitely an option, but I also really like physical therapy and sports science stuff. I’d probably do that. 

PI: Who’s someone you really look up to?

JM: My parents, for sure. 

PI: Are you an introvert or extrovert?

JM: I would say an extrovert. 

PI: What is your dream NIL deal and why? 

JM: If I had a sneaker deal, I hope it would be Nike. I mean any of them, any sneaker would be cool. I think it'd be cool to have a Chipotle deal. Like something like that, or even I saw someone get like a Champs Sports deal or something. Yeah, obviously all of them would be blessings. 

PI: Name four words that best describe you.

JM: I’d probably say hardworking, kind, respectful, and smart.

PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?

JM: I think as a player, just making an impact on winning and obviously, just trying to get as good as I can get and all that, but just being remembered for that. As a person, just a good person who made an impact on people's lives in a positive way for everyone.


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