KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Former All-SEC performer Mike Jackson has been honored as Tennessee's Allstate SEC Basketball Legend, representing the Vols both Friday and Saturday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Jackson was recognized by SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey at mid-court during halftime of Tennessee's game with Miss. State Friday night. He was also recognized along with the other legends this weekend during halftime of the Auburn/Florida Semifinal contest.
Jackson starred in the Tennessee front court for head coach Ray Mears from 1973-77. He was a co-captain and starter—as well as the third-leading scorer, behind the legendary duo of Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld—on the Vols' 1977 SEC Championship Team.
He told me, "It's kind of the pinnacle of all the blood sweat and tears I put on Rocky Top and for it to be in my home town and the history and tradition we have with the University of Tennessee, it's incredible."
Jackson added, "playing for coach Ray Mears surpassed just playing basketball and he taught us to be men and our teammates from 1-to-10 at the time were all just good men."
Jackson was a second-team All-SEC selection during that senior campaign, and he finished his four-year career as the program's eighth all-time leading scorer with 1,243 points.
He averaged 14.3 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting .482 from the field in 87 career games. As a junior in 1975-76, he averaged a career-best 16.7 points per game. His best career scoring performance was a 33-point effort in a neutral-site win over Seton Hall on Dec. 11, 1976.
As far as things that stood out to him during his playing days Jackson told me, " one thing and I think it's still a record is my infamous teammates Ernie Grunfeld and Bernard King and myself scored 30 points all together in one game and I don't think its ever been broken. For me, the brotherhood that we had between the past guys and the present that we tried to build and keep going is what I remember the most."
Joining Jackson in this year's Legends class is Erwin Dudley (Alabama, 2000-03), Corey Beck,(Arkansas, 1992-95), Mike Mitchell (Auburn, 1975-78), Livingston Chatman (Florida, 1987-91), Jumaine Jones (Georgia, 1997-99), Johnny Cox (Kentucky, 1957-59), Wayde Sims (LSU, 2016-18), Justin Reed (Ole Miss, 2001-04), Lawrence Roberts (Mississippi State, 2003-05), Melvin Booker (Missouri, 1991-94), Carlos Powell (South Carolina, 2001-05), Antoine Wright (Texas A&M, 2002-05) and Derrick Byars (Vanderbilt, 2005-07).