MSU commit Jaren Jackson Jr. wins Dick's High School National Championship
MSU commit Jaren Jackson Jr. and MSU hopeful recruit Brian “Tugs” Bowen raised their newest piece of hardware Saturday afternoon on ESPN, the Dick’s High School National Championship after a 70-52 win.
Both athletes are five-star recruits that play for La Lumiere in La Porte, Ind., the only school with two McDonald’s All-Americans on the roster.
Jackson started red hot for the Lakers, scoring six first quarter points, including a smooth finish with his off hand, but found himself on the bench for the end of the first quarter and entire second quarter.
He had committed a silly reach foul for his first and on the ensuing in-bounds play, Jackson was whistled again for his second foul.
Bowen, La Lumiere’s leading scorer, started ice cold from the field. After missing his first four shots, he remained scoreless in the first quarter.
As the second quarter was coming to a close and the Lakers trailed slightly, Bowen was able to knock down a pair of threes. The Lakers trailed by one at half.
La Lumiere knows the heartbreak of the National Championship game. Last season, Oak Hill Academy’s Khadim Sy scored a tip-in in the final ticks to defeat the Lakers 62-60 in overtime at Madison Square Garden. Bowen was standing on the baseline, inches away from the game winning basket. From that moment, he promised a return to the National Championship game and a victory.
The Lakers took control in the second half, Bowen continued his ability to stroke and score from downtown.
As the final buzzer sounded, La Lumiere was victorious, 70-52, with their first ever Dick’s High School National Championship.
Jackson, with great silk, showed his range for a 6-foot-11 athlete and nimbleness with a pair of drives and finishes. He also demonstrated his ability to block shots, sending a layup three rows into the stands. He finished the game with 17 points and three rebounds.
“Man, we did it,” Jackson said with a big smile after the game. “We’ve been through so much as a team, I can’t stop smiling. We had this goal the whole year, redemption and everything, perseverance, strength, toughness we had it all and we came out on top.”
Mid-question about his lasting memories at La Lumiere, Jackson was interrupted by Bowen who clutched the trophy in hand. The pair shared a hug and a smile before Jackson was eventually swarmed by his team.
Bowen finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. When asked about his decision on ESPN following La Lumiere’s victory, Bowen said the list is the same five schools and his decision will come sometime in April, but no date yet.
Bowen’s five schools are: MSU, Arizona, Creighton, North Carolina State and Texas.
He is a 6-foot-7 athletic wing, who can play above the rim and stretch the floor. Bowen lacks shot creating ability, but if paired with a play-maker like current MSU freshman guard Cassius Winston, the duo could create a lot of celebration for Spartan fans.
The largest non-basketball reasons to attend MSU for Bowen are his hometown and a family relation.
Bowen is from Saginaw, Mich., where former MSU players, Draymond Green and Jason Richardson are from. Also, Bowen and the two-time NBA dunk champion, Richardson, are cousins.
If he decides to commit to MSU, the Spartans would have a class including: Jackson, Bowen and Xavier Tillman. MSU is also in competition for another 6-foot-11 All-American, Brandon McCoy, who was roommates with Jackson during the McDonald's All-American Game.
McCoy is listed as the No. 6 athlete on ESPN's Top 100 list. Bowen falls at No. 12 on that list, Jackson at No. 16. Tillman sits at No. 75 as a four-star recruit, but shows great post moves for a 6-foot-9 power forward.
McCoy is a center from San Diego Cathedral Catholic and is completing playing college basketball at Arizona, Oregon, UNLV, San Diego St. and MSU. He is most known for his great length, soft hands and quick feet.