Hoops Played With Heavy Hearts
Ball Up honors its fallen teammate, Troy “Escalade” Jackson.
It was as if he was somehow magically there, watching over things from high above, probably with a big smile on his face to suit his particularly big frame.
As most may already know, the streetball community, and basketball community in general, recently lost one of its more recognizable faces when Troy “Escalade” Jackson died in his sleep on February 20 while in Los Angeles for NBA All-Star Weekend.
He might be gone, but Jackson is far from forgotten.
The Ball Up Streetball season jumped off this past weekend in California at Cal State Northridge and The Professor, Air Up There, AO, Springs & Co. dedicated the game to the memory of Jackson, who was a member of the team until his untimely death at the age of 35. He was far too young.
With the venue packed with plenty of spectators, at full capacity, and the camera crews in place from Fox Sports Network, the event went off without a hitch. It was off the hook, in fact.
Sik Wit It, Pat the Roc, Bone Collector, Special FX, Mr. Afrika and Violater and the rest of the Ball Up crew, coached by former NBA veteran Tracy Murray, played some inspired ball for the blatantly obvious reasons given the circumstances surrounding the unexpected passing of Jackson.
As for their opponent, a game group of ballers led by Kenny Dobbs, Air Dogg, Mike Earl and coached by another former dude from the League, Rick Fox, those cats attempted to keep pace.
In between, the highlights were frequent, seemingly non-stop, too many count. And most of the action took place above the rim, in Ball Up style, of course. All the while, keep in mind, legendary Streetball personality, Duke Tango, was on hand to emcee things
The boys from BallisLife.com were in attendance, so make sure to stay tuned, there’s a good possibility that all of the highlights will be going viral any day now.
It was a fitting way to honor a fallen teammate who was respected by so many worldwide.
Jackson has a storied to past, no doubt. He’s the younger brother of ESPN analyst and former New York Knicks guard Mark Jackson. Before his gig with Ball Up, the 6-10 big man made a name for himself with the Harlem Globetrotters and on the AND 1 Mixtape Tour. He also played college ball, at Louisville from 1996 to 1998.
For those who missed the Ball Up game dedicated to Jackson, fear not. The events that took place over the weekend will be aired on FSN at some point in the near future.
For those who’d like to see things live, Ball Up will be playing at Cal State Northridge on several different occasions in the next couple months. Here’s a link to the schedule.
Big No. 53 unfortunately won’t be in uniform, mind you. His spirit, however, figures to be alive and well, similar to the way it appeared to be present the first time around.
The memory of Troy “Escalade” Jackson lives on.
Sean Ceglinsky is a contributor for SLAMonline.com. Follow him on Twitter.