Lucious “Luke” Jackson, a member of the United States’ gold medal-winning men’s basketball team at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, is one of 11 players who will be inducted into the inaugural class of the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame on Nov. 17.
The special event will be held in Evansville, Indiana.
The 206-cm forward/center played college ball for Pan American College, which is now known as Texas-Pan American. The team won the 1963 NAIA title and earned a runner-up finish in 1964. He averaged 24.8 and 24.6 points, respectively, in his final two collegiate seasons and hauled in 19.5 and 18.8 rebounds.
In October 1964, Jackson contributed a respectable 10.0 points in nine games for Team USA in Tokyo. He scored 17 points twice, against Brazil and against the Soviet Union in the gold-medal game that October. He was the leading scorer in both games, helping the Americans captured their sixth straight gold in the event.
Other former players who will be inducted in the inaugural class include NBA coaching legend Phil Jackson (North Dakota), Earl “The Pearl” Monroe (Winston-Salem State), Willis Reed (Grambling) and Dick Barnett (Tennessee A&I). The late Dr. James Naismith, basketball’s inventor, will be honored as an inductee into the contributor category.
In a recent interview with the Beaumont Enterprise, a Texas newspaper, Jackson, now 74, discussed his low-key life since his retirement after 27 years from the City of Beaumont’s Parks and Recreation department.
Even though he was the No. 4 overall pick in the 1964 NBA Draft and played eight seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, winning a title on the Wilt Chamberlain-led 1966-67 squad, Jackson doesn’t boast about his basketball accomplishments, the Beaumont Enterprise reported.
“This is how I like it,” Jackson, who averaged 9.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in his NBA career, told the newspaper. “I’m Lucious. I’m Luke. That’s who I am. That’s something I did, and I look at life that way. That way I’m at peace with myself, and I don’t have to put on airs about myself. I know who I am. And that’s a good thing to know who you are.”
According to the Beaumont Enterprise, Jackson’s NBA championship ring and gold medal are “in a jewelry box” in his house.
It was an exhaustive process to select the members of the inaugural class. Or as athleticmanagement.com reported: “A national committee of 14 current and former head coaches, sports information directors, athletic directors, commissioners, historians and media members had the difficult task of selecting the SCB Hall of Fame class. “