By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor men’s basketball alumnus and current Dallas Maverick Pierre Jackson logged his first points in the NBA on Dec. 27, 2016, against the Houston Rockets.
It was Jackson’s first game with Dallas, and head coach Rick Carlisle lauded his skill within the team’s offense.
“I like his quickness, and I like his ability to score,” Carlisle told Mavs.com. “He made a couple of good plays off pick-and-rolls, so I think he’s a guy that can help us a bit. And look, it’s the first day I’ve ever really seen him play in person, but I like what I saw. I thought he went hard and did some good things.”
Jackson signed a two-year contract with the Mavericks earlier that day after a long journey back to the NBA.
After graduating from Baylor, Jackson was drafted with the 42nd overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers but was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans but failed to make the roster after playing with their Summer League team.
Continuing to pursue his dream of playing professional basketball, Jackson signed with a French professional basketball team before returning to the U.S. to play in the D-League and for the 76ers in the NBA Summer League.
However, Jackson suffered a setback on his journey to play at basketball’s highest level when he tore his achilles in the Summer League in 2014. He went through rehab and returned the following summer, but he was cut from the 76ers.
In 2016, Jackson returned to the D-League to play for the Idaho Stampede for half a season. With no NBA team willing to sign him, he agreed to a deal with a Croatian club in October.
In December, Jackson’s dream came true as the Dallas Mavericks signed him to a non-guaranteed contract worth roughly $1.2 million.
“I’ve got a team that liked me enough to sign me,” Jackson told Mavs.com after his NBA debut. “I’ve just got to stay consistent and bring that to this level.”
He feels confident in his ability to find a role with the Mavericks as both a scorer and a playmaker.
“I can do both,” Jackson said. “I kind of did it at Baylor. I was just told Coach (Carlisle) likes that I can score. So, I’m going to try to take advantage of that and just make the right plays. You know, just be a professional.”
Jackson played point guard for the Baylor Bears from 2011 to 2013 after playing two seasons at the College of Southern Idaho.
During his junior season at Baylor, Jackson led the Bears to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight while averaging a team best 13.8 points and 5.9 assists per game.
Despite the team not being as successful in Jackson’s senior year, he picked up accolades such as All-Big 12 First Team and the Bob Cousy Award Finalist for leading the Big 12 in both scoring and assists averaging 19.8 points and 7.1 assists per game.
Additionally, Jackson led the Bears to the National Invitational Tournament title in the 2013 postseason and was named NIT Most Outstanding Player after posting 17 points and 10 assists against Iowa in the championship game.
Five games into his career with the Mavericks, Jackson has averages of 3.0 points and 1.8 assists in 7.0 minutes per game.