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Former Duquesne guard Aaron Jackson relishes chance in NBA

| Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 7:24 a.m.
Duquesne's Aaron Jackson works against Charlotte's Ian Andersen during the second half of a game in 2009 at Palumbo Center.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Duquesne's Aaron Jackson works against Charlotte's Ian Andersen during the second half of a game in 2009 at Palumbo Center.

Aaron Jackson, the 31-year-old former Duquesne basketball player who has played basketball overseas since 2009, making stops in Italy, Turkey, Spain, Russia, and China, finally got his NBA breakthrough.

On April 11, he had just finished his ninth season of play. He was at the Staples Center watching the Lakers beat the Houston Rockets.

That was the night Andre Ingram made his NBA debut at the 32 years old. He came off the bench and scored 19 points in his first game.

Jackson was there as a guest of the Lakers. Along the way, Jackson was taking notes on plays the Lakers were running with Ingram to take back to his coaches in China, with an outside hope that he may sign in L.A. during the offseason.

Of course, watching Ingram made him wonder if that could've been him.

The next morning, after staying out late celebrating his girlfriend's birthday, he got a call from the Rockets telling him to get up and get to Sacramento as soon as possible. He was about to join the team for the regular-season finale.

Sure enough, Jackson became Ingram to an extent. He got to the game just in time, with no warm up. He played 35 minutes and scored eight points.

"I'm just excited about being a part of the Houston Rockets," Jackson said of this opportunity . "To get here and see how these guys work hard, see how their chemistry is, see how close they are with one another, it's unbelievable."

Jackson, one of the survivors of the Duquesne shooting where five players were injured , didn't even have his name on his No. 55 jersey.

Now, he's on the roster with the Rockets for what could be an NBA title run. He also becomes the first Duquesne player to suit up in an NBA game since Mike James, who is on the Houston staff.

Hear the complete interview with Jackson in Tim Benz's podcast .

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