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  • By Lisa Brody

Reggie Jackson

Growing up as an “Air Force brat” may have had an unintended benefit for Detroit Pistons’ point guard Reggie Jackson.

“We were always flying around from city to city,” Jackson said. “I was born in Italy, then we moved to England, then to North Dakota, then Georgia, then to Florida, and then Colorado.”

He said the non-stop moving around and on-the-go lifestyle prepared him for life in the NBA, where trades are common and travel is a constant.

“We’re always flying around, city to city. I love the excitement of playing in a new city, in a new arena,” he said.

Jackson, who lives in Oakland Township, has been with the Detroit Pistons since 2015, when he was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder. While injured much of last season, he said he is healthy and ready to play in the Pistons’ new home in Detroit at Little Caesar’s Arena, which they opened on October 18.

“I’m good, I’m ready. Everything feels good. I can’t wait to play in the new LCA and make our mark there. I expect to bring the same energy but a new excitement. It’s a proud thing to have Detroit on your jersey and to play in the city,” he noted. “I think the fans are very excited, and will really embrace it.”

As a youngster, basketball was not the only sport Jackson enjoyed, playing a lot of soccer when they lived in England and football in the snow in Colorado, but basketball was the sport he competed against his two older brothers the hardest. “They’re good. One played college. They’re the best I knew,” he said. “I was always inspired to be the best, and I worked to be better.”

That competitive drive worked well for Jackson, and the brotherly bond remains strong. Brother Travis lives with him, and his girlfriend joins them when she’s in town. “I hang with him the most. I’m a homebody when I’m not playing, and we play videogames and watch movies. We really feel like we have a home together. I’ve seen a lot of the world, so in my down time, I just like to hang at home.”

Another passion Jackson has is reading, and it’s one he is using as a tool to give back to the community with his DETermined to Assist Foundation, which is creating literacy lounges in Title I schools in Detroit and providing students with age-appropriate books and a space designed to make reading fun.

“My brother got me into reading, and it was a gift. I want to give it back,” Jackson said. “Once you know yourself, it’s easier to understand everything around you. I want to give inner city kids the same hope and opportunity I had. When you read a book, it becomes your journey, not just the writer’s.”

Jackson said he loves all genres of books. “One day I’ll read a kid’s book, another to challenge me, meditation, anything I can learn from.”

When he’s not practicing, reading, or hanging out, his favorite thing is to chow down, often with his two best friends on the team, Andre Drummond and Stanley Johnson.

“We definitely will go eat,” he laughed. “I’m a brunch guy. The Rochester Brunch House – they’re my place. I also like Hudson Cafe downtown.”

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