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UNC Basketball: 2024 five-star commit Ian Jackson transferring schools

Overtime Elite should provide an adequate environment to continue his preparation.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament Quarterfinals - Virginia vs North Carolina John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Tar Heels’ top-rated recruit of the 2024 class (number six overall), Ian Jackson, announced his decision to transfer schools on Thursday. Previously at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, Jackson has decided to join Overtime Elite as a member of Our Saviour Lutheran, where he will finish his high school career.

Overtime Elite is a professional league originally geared towards high schoolers looking for an alternate route to the NBA. However, Jackson will have the option to finish up school while maintaining his eligibility to play at Carolina.

For a short while, Jackson considered reclassifying and joining the team before this upcoming season, but he never seemed especially keen on that. He has reassured fans, though, on multiple occasions, that he fully plans on suiting up for the Heels in 2024. There isn’t any reason to think that has changed.

At 6’6, 185 pounds, Jackson has great length and possesses elite-level athleticism. He’s supremely confident as a scorer, and for good reason, as he might be the most offensively skilled high schooler in the country. Defensively, Jackson brings the intensity consistently and takes just as much, if not more pride in his play on that side of the ball. He makes a point to lock down the opposing team’s best player and his size and versatility allow him to comfortably guard three positions.

The transition to OSL and playing with Overtime Elite makes sense for a player in Jackson who ultimately has his sights set on the NBA. Not only will he have the opportunity to compete against high-level players, he’ll also be paid a handsome salary, and he still gets to go to college. It will be the ideal place for him to continue to develop and grow as a player before he arrives in Chapel Hill.

Jackson is the most surefire one-and-done recruit the Heels have had in a while, but that lone year should be electric. He is part of a three-man class that currently ranks first in the country and will likely be accompanied by some capable veterans. Jackson’s ability alone should give that Carolina team a high floor and an even higher ceiling.