Canada’s Jackson withdraws from NBA draft

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Maryland sophomore Justin Jackson, who would have been one of Canada’s top prospects in the NBA draft, has decided to stay in school.

The six-foot-seven forward from Toronto withdrew his name Wednesday from the June 22 draft.

“I’m excited to return for my sophomore year at Maryland and look forward to building upon the success we had last season,” Jackson said in a release. “The experience that I had participating in the NBA Scouting Combine will be beneficial in my long-term development. I can’t wait to get back to College Park and begin workouts with my teammates this summer.”

Jackson was in Toronto to work out for the Raptors on Tuesday, on the eve of the deadline for early-entry candidates to withdraw.

Jackson averaged 10.5 points and a team-high six rebounds a game for the Terrapins in his rookie season. He ranked seventh on Maryland’s freshman single-season rebounding list (199) and was second on the team in blocks (29). Maryland went 24-9 and punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament for a third straight season.

The Raptors were impressed by the forward who boasts a seven-foot-three wingspan.

“He’s a player that’s very intriguing because he’s got so many things going for him in terms of size and positional size and athletic ability and God-given intangibles that you don’t find on a lot people,” director of player personnel Dan Tolzman said after his workout.

Jackson earned Big Ten co-freshman of the week honours on Jan. 23, and recorded the first back-to-back double-doubles for a freshman at Maryland since 2010 — 28 points and 10 rebounds at Minnesota and 22 points and 12 boards at Ohio State.

He played for Canada at the FIBA U19 world championships in 2015, where the Canadians finished fifth.

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