Remembering the past…MARK JACKSON

Mark Jackson, St. John’s University’s all-time assists leader and the NBA’s No. 2 all-time assist man, will be inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame last Thursday evening at the New York Athletic Club.

During his four-year career at St. John’s, Jackson amassed 738 assists, was a second team All-American in 1987, and a two-time All-Big East first team honoree. Last January, he received St. John’s Basketball Legacy Honors and his No. 13 jersey will permanently hang in the rafters of Madison Square Garden and Carnesecca Arena.

As a freshman during the 1983-84 season, Jackson was named to the Big East All-Rookie team after dishing out 108 assists. As a sophomore during the 1984-85 season, Jackson ranked second on the team in field goal percentage at .564 and third in assists with 109. He was the “sixth-man” on that Final Four St. John’s team.

During his junior season, Jackson emerged as one of the best point guards in the nation, as he was named to the All-Big East first team for the first time, averaging 9.1 assists per game, for a total of 328, a then-NCAA record. Of those assists, 150 came in Big East games, which was also a league record. He also averaged 11.3 points per game that season and shot 48 percent from the field.

During his senior year, Jackson was a prolific defender as he was named the Big East’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Jackson’s scoring average rose to 18.9 points per game that season, as he finished his career at St. John’s with 1,328 points, which ranks 22nd all-time in St. John’s history. Once again, he was a first team All-Big East selection. Jackson was also the co-recipient of the Haggerty Award given to the MVP of the Metropolitan area.

A first round draft pick of the New York Knicks in 1987, Jackson dished out a total of 10,334 assists throughout his 17-season NBA career. He trails only John Stockton on that list. For his NBA career, Jackson averaged eight assists per game. During his rookie season in the NBA, Jackson won the Rookie of the Year award after averaging 13.6 points per game and 10.6 assists per game. Jackson played for the Knicks, L.A. Clippers, Indianapolis, Denver, Toronto, and Utah, before capping off his career in Houston in 2004.

Currently, Jackson provides NBA analysis for ESPN’s SportsCenter, as well as color commentary for New Jersey Nets broadcasts on the YES Network.