Basketball: Jackson still chasing NBA dream

Cedric Jackson. Photo / Greg Bowker.
Cedric Jackson. Photo / Greg Bowker.

The Breakers confirmed the re-signing of CJ Bruton today for another two years and are convinced others in the table-topping side will follow but there is considerable doubt about whether Cedric Jackson will return.

The 26-year-old point guard has often been described by many observers in the Australian league as NBA quality and he hopes they are right. He's had a small taste of the NBA - he played 12 games during four 10-day stints for three different clubs in 2009/10 - and will return to the US once the Breakers season is over to suit up for a number of NBA camps.

They are ruthless exercises, where countless talented players come up against other equally talented players in the hope of being given a shot.

He would have a lot more certainty if he re-signed with the Breakers - and the club have told them they want him back - not to mention more court time and influence but the lure of the NBA is difficult for most players to ignore.

"I have told the owners I definitely want to follow my dream and get back to the NBA but I wouldn't rule out coming back,'' he said. "I have a lot of NBA camps this summer. Hopefully everything goes well and, if it all goes to plan, I will be staying home. If it doesn't happen, I would definitely look to come back.''

Jackson has made a huge impact with the Breakers and that was illustrated further today (Wed) when he was named the league's Player of the Month for February. He plays at a speed others struggle to match, can drive to the basket almost at will and creates time and space for teammates to take advantage of.

Statistically, he leads the league in assists (6.2) and steals (2.4) and also chimes in with 13.1 points a game but it also means he comes in for some rough treatment and he's nursing ankle, knee and foot injuries.

He wouldn't have been here in the first place if it hadn't been for the NBA lockout that delayed the start of the NBA season and would probably have been playing in the development league that farms players out to the top league.

Negotiations with the bulk of the rest of the Breakers squad are on track and they confirmed today Bruton will end his long career with the Breakers after signing on for another two years. Mika Vukona, Tom Abercrombie, Alex Pledger and Dillon Boucher are expected to follow soon.

It provides a healthy backdrop to a side that last weekend wrapped up the minor premiership with three regular-season games to go. The first of those is against the Gold Coast tomorrow night at the North Shore Events Centre before they round things off on the road against Townsville and Gold Coast again.

Results in those matches will have a significant bearing on the makeup and order of the top four and who the Breakers could ultimately meet in the semifinals and for that reason Jackson said there was no danger of them letting their standards slip even though they had little to play for.

"We are going to play it as if we have three games to go,'' he said. "We are not going to overlook anybody. We definitely want to win these last three games.''

- APNZ

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