Derrick V. Jackson B'78
February 4, 1994
The defining moment for Georgetown basketball came in 1975, when a freshman guard arched a jump shot in the final seconds against West Virginia, earning Georgetown its first NCAA tournament bid since World War II. Derrick Jackson's jumper may not have been "the shot heard `round the world," but in retrospect, it ushered in a new era in Georgetown basketball - 20 plus years of sustained national excellence.
Derrick grew up in Wheaton, Illinois, where he was a standout in baseball and basketball at Wheaton Central High School. Drafted by baseball's Texas Rangers in his senior year, Derrick elected to forego that opportunity, and opted instead for a Georgetown education and the chance to play basketball under John Thompson.
His four-year career at Georgetown ranks him among the leaders in the history of the sport on the Hilltop. During Derrick's four seasons, Georgetown received a post- season tournament bid every year, a remarkable streak of post-season play that has continued to this day.
Derrick led the team in scoring in each of his three underclass seasons, ending his career as Georgetown's all-time leading scorer with 1,763 points and a 15.3 career scoring average. During his four seasons, he shot nearly 50 percent from the field; ranked among the all-time leaders in assists; and established a single season record for free throw accuracy in his senior year, missing only seven - a record that still stands.
He was accorded numerous awards for his achievements. In his senior year, Derrick was co-captain of the team and was the Washington Post Player of the Year. He also garnered all-East and All-America honors and was named the team MVP for an unprecedented third time (a distinction shared by only one other Georgetown player, Patrick Ewing).
Following graduation from Georgetown with a degree in Business Administration, the Golden State Warriors selected him in the fourth round of the NBA draft. But Derrick, who had been active in the Georgetown chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, elected instead to compete with Athletes in Action, with whom he played for three years, travelling around the world. Derrick has dedicated his life to the ministry, and serves as a teacher and assistant pastor at the Wheaton Christian Center.
Nineteen years after that famous jump shot, Derrick stays close to the game, albeit on a lower level. He coaches youth basketball in Wheaton, where he resides with his wife, Patrice, and their son, Derrick, age nine.
Derrick Jackson is the first basketball player from the era of
Georgetown's rise to national prominence to be inducted into the
Athletic Hall of Fame.