Draft Conference Call with Frank Jackson

Pelicans second round pick Frank Jackson spoke to the New Orleans media following the 2017 NBA Draft.

Q: When was your first communication with the Pelicans? Did you feel like they were a team that was targeting you pretty heavily?
“At the combine, I had a great meeting with them. They were an organization that was pretty high on me. The meeting went well. After that I didn’t think about it much, to be honest. At the combine I had a good meeting.”

Q: How’s the rehab for your foot going and how long do you expect to be out?
“It’s going great. I think I’m only a couple weeks out of really going one hundred percent. Surgery went wonderful, the healing process is good, and I’m just excited to get to work and get going.”

Q: What are your thoughts on playing with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins?
“I’m ecstatic about that. That’s awesome. Those are two of the best bigs in the league. I’m definitely going to grow and learn how to play with those guys. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Q: Is there a guard positon you prefer? Dell Demps referred to you as a combo-guard. Do you prefer being on the ball or off the ball?
“I think I’m a very versatile player and I can play both positons. I don’t have an opinion. I’m going to play wherever they need me to and I’m going to (give it) a hundred percent.”

Q: What was it like coming out of high school with so many accolades, and having to be a role player at Duke behind a lot of experienced players?
“It was great. It taught me a lot. I know that the NBA, the next level, are the best players in the world. That’s why I wanted to go to Duke. I wanted to be a part of a group of guys who are really talented, and it taught me how to play with other guys like that and to prepare for the NBA.”

Q: Do you feel like there are skills that you have right now that are NBA ready and maybe some things you need to tweak? Can you touch on what those might be for each of those categories?
“I think I’m super athletic, I’m quick, I can defend multiple positions and I’m a good shooter. But at the same time you always have to adjust to the physicality of the NBA and get used to that, of course. Maybe in screen situations making reads, I need to work on that a little bit. I’m just excited to get going and to get to work.”

Q: Why did you decide to enter the draft this year?
“I have all the confidence in the world in myself. It’s been a lifelong dream and goal of mine. I saw it in front of my eyes and wanted to go and take it. It’s something I’ve been planning on doing. To be a part of the NBA has always been a dream of mine and I wanted to go and take it.”

Q: What’s it like growing up with a dad that’s a state senator?
“It’s pretty cool. He’s been there for two years and I got to be with him a little bit and see how it operates. He’s been in politics for a while and it’s been cool.”

Q: Do you have goals for your rookie season that you set out to accomplish or do you just see how it goes as the season goes along? How do you prepare for your rookie year?
“Just continue to work. Honestly I’m shooting as high as Rookie of the Year. I have all the confidence in the world in myself. I’ll kind of play it by ear too and see how the year goes. But I know that I can control what I do on and off the court, and I’m going to do everything I can to be successful and to make this organization win.”

Q: Going back to the McDonald’s All-America Game in 2016, what do you remember about that night?
“It was another awesome night and something that not a lot of people get to do. It testified to me that I’m just as good as anybody in this draft class. I feel that way one hundred percent. I just can’t wait to go out and prove it every day. It was moments like that and opportunities like that where I was given to showcase my skills to the world and now I get to do it at the highest level.”

Q: Have you gotten a chance to visit New Orleans in the past and what is your impression of the city?
“I actually have not. I’ve never been to New Orleans before, but I have heard great things and I’m excited to get out there.”

Q: What does it mean that the Pelicans moved up nine spots to make sure they were able to get you?
“It means the world to me. I want to be part of an organization that values me and wants me to be a part of what they’re doing. It’s just a blessing to be able to come to [New Orleans] and kick off my career. It’s the ultimate blessing, and it means the world that [the Pelicans organization] are so high on me. I can’t wait.”

Q: Did [the Pelicans] ever give you an indication of their style? How they want to play, or where they want to play you, or where you fit in? Or was it more general conversation?
“More general conversation, we’ll get into those details as the season gets going and I start rehabbing and things like that.”

Q: Do you have any familiarity of any of the players here from your career?
“Obviously, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, two of the best bigs in the league. I’ve been familiar with them, loved watching them play. Quinn Cook, another Duke guy, he’s someone I’ve gotten to know over the last year.”

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