Former Kansas star Josh Jackson, one of the top prospects in the 2017 NBA draft, must attend anger management classes, refrain from alcohol and recreational drugs for a year, and write a letter of apology as part of a diversion agreement stemming from a December incident in which he allegedly threatened a Kansas women’s basketball player with physical violence while vandalizing her car.
Reports began to circulate in February that Jackson, who entered Lawrence last fall as one of the nation’s most heralded prep recruits, and fellow Jayhawk Lagerald Vick were “persons of interest” in a vandalism investigation following an incident that saw nearly $3,000 in damage done to a car outside a bar in the early morning hours of Dec. 9, 2016. According to an affidavit filed in Douglas County District Court in March, Kansas women’s basketball player McKenzie Calvert told police that Jackson had followed her out of that bar earlier that night after she had thrown a drink on Vick — her ex-boyfriend, whom a university investigation determined had likely hit her multiple times and kicked her in the face during a 2015 altercation — and that Jackson had hit and kicked her car, “yelling for her to get out of the car and that he would beat her ass.”
From court records pulled by Jesse Newell of the Kansas City Star:
Jackson was originally charged with one misdemeanor count of criminal property damage after prosecutors alleged he kicked the driver’s door and rear taillight of a car driven by KU women’s basketball player McKenzie Calvert during the early morning hours of Dec. 9 outside the Yacht Club bar and restaurant. He pleaded not guilty to the charge on April 12, with his attorney, Hatem Chahine, saying then that he planned on filing for diversion. That document was signed by Jackson on April 26.
As part of the diversion, Jackson agreed to:
▪ “(E)nroll in and successfully complete an Anger Management counseling course” by Oct. 31
▪ “(A)bstain from the use of alcohol and recreational drugs during the diversion period”
▪ “(W)rite and sign a letter of apology to the victim(s)” by June 30
▪ Complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service by Oct. 31
▪ “(O)btain a substance abuse evaluation” by June 30 and “complete all the treatment recommendations listed in the evaluation.” If no recommendations were made, Jackson was “required to complete Alcohol Information School” by Oct. 31.
Jackson never received any punishment from the team for his role in the incident, though he did serve a one-game suspension at the start of the Big 12 tournament for an unrelated February 2017 incident in which he accrued three traffic violations.
Jackson also signed a “stipulation of facts” acknowledging he was at the bar on the night in question, that he “followed Calvert out, yelling at her and calling her names,” and that “he kicked her vehicle, breaking the left rear taillight and denting the driver’s door.”
As part of the diversion agreement, Jackson paid $158 in court costs, $150 in a diversion fee and $250 in restitution to Timothy Calvert, McKenzie’s father, in whose name the car was registered. If Jackson completes the terms of the agreement, the case against him will be dismissed; if he violates the 12-month diversion, he’ll have to pay a restitution of $3,150.45 to Calvert.
Jackson declared for the NBA draft last month after averaging 16.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.7 steals in 31.8 minutes per game on his way to the Big 12’s Freshman of the Year award. The 6-foot-8, 20-year-old Jackson showcased tantalizing upside as a slasher and supplementary playmaker on offense, as well as rare gifts as both an on-ball and team defender that would seem to make him a perfect fit for an NBA in which you can never have too many versatile, athletic perimeter stoppers.
Questions persist about whether he’ll be able to develop a reliable enough jump shot to become an elite offensive player at the next level. Even so, his combination of physical tools and two-way projectability still has him near the top of most analysts’ draft boards. In his latest mock draft for The Vertical, Jonathon Givony of DraftExpress has Jackson joining the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 3 overall pick in June’s draft.
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