NBA Draft

Jaren Jackson Jr.: Like Jay-Z, my dad had a ‘Blueprint’ all along

The father and son NBA duo talk draft, Father’s Day traditions and Jr.’s infamous shooting form

There’s arguably nobody whose draft stock is soaring so high, so close to the NBA draft, as former Michigan State big man Jaren Jackson Jr. And there’s nobody who’s prouder at this moment than his father, former NBA player Jaren Jackson Sr.

Father and son NBA duos exist, but they are rare, and each person’s path to the pros is always unique. Jaren Jr. is projected to be a top-five pick in the draft and a star in the league; Jaren Sr. went undrafted and was a journeyman for most of his 13 seasons, although he won a championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 1999. But, as Jaren Jr. tells it, his father had a plan all along — he likens Jaren Sr.’s career to Jay-Z‘s The Blueprint — and his father’s grind and hustle allowed Jr. to be in the promising position he is today.

We interviewed father and son to get a glimpse of their dynamic, how they’re preparing for the NBA draft and what Father’s Day is like in the Jackson household. What we found is a relationship full of jokes, mutual respect and love.