DETROIT — Head coach Bacari Alexander and Detroit Mercy announced the signings of Jack Ballantyne (Shelby Township, Mich./Dakota) and Jermaine Jackson Jr. (Shelby Township, Mich./Dakota) to a National Letter of Intent.
Both student-athletes were teammates for one of the top high school teams in the state in Macomb Dakota, helping the Cougars go 20-4 overall, post 17 straight victories, win a MAC Red Division championship, a district title and finish fifth in the final AP poll in 2017. They were also teammates on the AAU circuit with The Family and played in the Elite Youth Basketball League, one of the best AAU leagues in the country.
“I am so thrilled to have local talent choose to stay home and help usher in championships,” added coach Alexander.
Jack Ballantyne – a 6-9, 240-lb forward – started his prep career at De LaSalle, but transferred to Dakota for his senior season. He was one of the top forward recruits in the state of Michigan ranking as high as No. 15 by Bank Hoops and receiving a number of Division I scholarship offers from schools in the ACC, Atlantic 10 and MAC. As a senior, he recorded 15.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game and earned First Team All-MAC Red, First Team All-County, All-Area by the Detroit News as well as Honorable Mention All-State by the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press and Honorable Mention BCAM Best Of Class A.
As a junior at De La Salle, he tallied 16.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. He had one of his best games with 20 points and 14 rebounds against a tough University of Detroit Jesuit High School squad.
— Detroit Mercy MBB (@DetroitMBB) 2 maj 2017
Jermaine Jackson jr. – a 5-10, 170-lb guard and the son of Titan assistant coach and former Horizon League Player of the Year Jermaine Jackson ’99 – was a four-year starter and one of the top recruits in the state the last few years with scholarship offers that extended to BCS schools. He guided Dakota to three-straight MAC Red titles, two district championships and a state semifinals appearance in 2016. In his final prep season, he was a candidate for Mr. Basketball and averaged 26.0 points, 6.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals. He was selected to the MLive Dream Team, Class A First Team All-State by the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News, BCAM’s Best for Class A, Macomb County Player of the Year and MVP of the Macomb Area Conference Red Division.
As a junior, he averaged 21.4 points, 6.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 steals to help Dakota go 26-1 on its way to a state semifinals appearance. He was also tabbed third team All-State.