“Jumpin” Jackie Jackson, a member of the Harlem Globetrotters and Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Harlem Globetrotters Halls of Fame, died on Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Brooklyn, New York. He was 79.
Jackson introduced the slam-dunk to Virginia Union University when he played there from 1958-61, according to his VUU Hall of Fame entry.
Jackson was born in New Bern, North Carolina, and moved with his family to Brooklyn at a young age. He started his career at the famed Boys High School, leading his team to the city championship.
Jackson became a Rucker Park legend.
“He had this shot called ‘The Double Dooberry with a Cherry On Top,’” said NBA Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins.
“On a fast break, he’d take a pass at the foul line and jump toward the basket, holding the ball in his two hands. While he was going forward and up, hanging in the air, he would lower the ball down to his waist, raise it over his head, lower down again, raise it back up and then slam in a dunk. Nobody in the world can do that shot but him.”
At Virginia Union, the 6-3 center earned the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s Freshman of the Year award. Jackson led the nation in rebounding in 1960 and 1961. His 641 rebounds for VUU in 1961 is a school record that still stands. He also still holds the school record for 30 rebounds in a single game, a feat he performed twice, against Lincoln University and Maryland State College in 1961.
After graduating, Jackson was the 41st pick in the 1962 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia Warriors. Instead of joining the NBA, Jackson played for the world famous Harlem Globetrotters. He played one season with the team in 1963, before being drafted into the Army. In 1966, Jackson returned to the Globetrotters where he played for 15 seasons.
Jackson was inducted into the VUU Hall of Fame in 1994 and the CIAA Hall of Fame in 2010.
He was named a Harlem Globetrotters Legend in 2003.
He is survived by: his wife, Jean Jackson, son, Robert Jackson; daughter, Christy Agard; brother, Randolph Jackson; and five grandchildren.
Services were held May 9 at the Holy House of Prayer, 1768 St. John’s Place, Brooklyn, N.Y.