HIGHLAND — It's Duke. It's playing for a legendary basketball coach. And, in the end, the opportunity was just too good to pass up.
Frank Jackson made his commitment to the Duke program on Tuesday at Lone Peak High School, donning the Blue Devils cap at the end of an exhaustive, but exciting process.
"They're a winning program. They win championships and that's what it's all about," Jackson said. "And Coach (Mike Krzyzewski), I feel he'll help give me the best chance to get to the next level."
Playing at the next level is a thought Jackson and his family entertained when he was first offered by BYU following his freshman season. Jackson, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, jumped at the opportunity to commit to Cougar coaches, but eventually, as his prospects grew, decommitted just prior to his junior season in 2014.
"That was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life," Jackson said of decommitting to the Cougars. "Coach (Dave) Rose was nothing but good to me. He (understood) and wanted what's best for me."
Jackson was courted by many notable programs but narrowed his final four to BYU, Utah, Stanford and Duke. While he kept the other three programs in mind, Duke was at the forefront of his thoughts from the time Krzyzewski reached out to him following his sophomore year.
Jackson's interest in Duke peaked during a recent official visit where he was accompanied by his parents and was able to see the program up close and receive final confirmation.
"Right as we got there we went and saw Coach (Krzyzewski) speak and it was really powerful," Jackson said. "It was one of the most powerful speeches I've ever (heard) and to see what he thinks about his players, and how he treats them...it's just amazing. I was so impressed with him during the entire trip."
As mentioned, Jackson has seen his stock soar since attending several national combines and camps last summer. He quickly rose to be considered a national, top-20 recruit by most recruiting services while receiving attention from several top programs.
"He got better every time he stepped on the court," said Frank's father, Al Jackson. "This kid is a monster and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. He wants to be the best, he wants to play with the best and now he'll have that opportunity at Duke."
Frank Jackson will enroll at Duke in time for the 2016-17 season with the goal of helping the Blue Devils win a national championship while preparing himself to play in the NBA. He had previously planned on serving a mission for the LDS Church, but will now put those plans aside for at least one season.
"A mission is a great thing, but basketball for me right now is super important as well," said the 6-foot-3 guard. "Taking those two years off (to serve a mission), it's a long time, so I'm still evaluating to see what I'll decide to do in the future."