If the name of Troy Jackson certainly evokes nothing for the greatest number, the nickname of “Escalade” remains known among fans of basketball in the 2000s. Ultra-renowned exhibition player in his discipline, the big man of more than 200 kilos handled the ball like a real leader, for all the more spectacular mixtapes than the others. Portrait of a soul that left too soon.
Let’s start this roundup of one of the craziest careers in history by talking about a former NBA player, namely Mark Jackson. The former point guard, who played in the league between 1987-2004 in 7 different franchises, not only shares our subject’s last name, but blood ties. He was indeed none other than Troy Jackson’s big brother.
If the physique of Mark was relatively classic on the floors of the big league (1m85 for 81kg), his younger brother of almost 11 years had a build much less usual… During his senior year at the high school of Hills East, in New York, Troy Jackson already peaks at more than 2 meters for the trifle of 220 kilos. Excuse the little.
A morphotype that makes it difficult to imagine even a university career, and yet. Accustomed to the famous New York Rucker Park, Troy is spotted by the coach of a minor university in Alabama, who offers him to join the program. Two seasons and several regional accolades later, he received a scholarship offer from the renowned Louisville College.
The youngest Jackson is then asked to follow a strict diet to consider playing regularly in the NCAA. If he plays only 20 games (3.0 points, 1.6 rebounds averages) in two years, in a role at the end of the bench, he only displays 165kg on the scales at the end. Unlike his older brother, he still has to give up on the NBA. He then makes a choice that will propel him to the top of the bill: join the And1 Mixtape Tour.
The oldest may remember this exhibition tour organized by the modest brand And1. Bringing together spectacular game players like The Professor Where Hot Sauce, who subsequently became streetball legends, she had seen the arrival in its ranks of Troy Jackson in 2003. It was at this time that the nickname of ” Escalade », In reference to the big SUV of the Cadillac brand, was born.
And Escalade will quickly become one of the darlings of the public who gathered on the edge of playgrounds and parquet floors, but also of the many first Internet users to follow his exploits (we are then at the beginning of the web as we know it). From the top of his 2m08, and back to nearly 220 kilos, the big man surprises everyone, including his opponents, with his hidden and ultra-precise passes to make his big brother pale.
He obviously knew how to make his presence felt in the rackets, and did not miss an opportunity to violently put the cover back after a failure by one of his teammates. But Escalade also knew how to take possessions in hand, and mystify its direct opponents in isolation with an array of dribbling and extraordinary moves.
A lawyer in everyday life, Troy Jackson has also been on the cover of one of the issues of the famous magazine. Sports Illustrated. He even managed to put in the shade his big brother, yet NBA player, via his huge community of fans.
Troy died in his sleep on February 20, 2011, due to high blood pressure, at only 35 years old. His death will deeply sadden the basketball world, while Mark will share a superb anecdote about his little brother:
He sometimes went to nightclubs where an NBA role player, who could win millions, was not recognized. Troy, he could go as a VIP.
Not only did everyone know him, they loved him.
With a basketball arsenal as large as his physique, it only made sense that Troy “Escalade” Jackson was widely loved by streetball fans during the 2000s. RIP.