My walk though every Timberwolf in reverse order of minutes played went on hiatus shortly before the season started. I'm happy to be back with what I hope you will agree is the best profile yet. Number 24 on that list kindly agreed to answer a few questions and I will share his thoughtful responses below.
When I started researching this player to see what he is up to currently, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this member of the 93-94 Wolves works for... the Wolves! Maybe some of you have seen him at Target Center - maybe some of you have had the fortune of meeting him.
Who is he? Stanley Jackson! Here's his bio from the team's website:
Stan played college basketball at The University of Alabama at Birmingham for Gene Bartow and studied management. Stanley also played for the Timberwolves during the 1993-94 season. He rejoins the team in the front office after a career of playing in Europe, which included Cyprus, Spain and France. Before coming full circle with the Timberwolves, Stanley was a realtor specializing in residential real estate.
Without further ado, let's get to the Q&A. I won't recap Stan's basketball career, since my questions will cover most of that ground.
You grew up in Alabama and went to college there; what was it like signing as an undrafted free agent with the Timberwolves and experiencing Minnesota cold? You still live here, so it seems like you adjusted pretty well.
I worked very hard in training camp. It was an awesome feeling to see my name on the Timberwolves roster and being in the NBA. I have an aunt and uncle that moved to Bloomington in 1965 from Alabama and they have two daughters. The transition from Alabama to Minneapolis wasn't at all difficult. I can remember playing the Gophers when I was at UAB and thinking that this would be a great place to live.
I played only one season with the Wolves and the rest of my career I was away in Europe during the cold months. For 11 years it was great only having the Minnesota summers. When I retired from hoops, I forgot about the cold. It's not so bad as long as you can take a vacation to break up the winter. I'm headed to Cabo in one week!
What was the thing you enjoyed most playing in Europe after your Timberwolves days were over?
The thing I enjoyed most was meeting and learning about all the different cultures. I have so many good stories. Traveling to so many countries was very educational and gave me a better perspective on the world coming from a small town in Alabama.
Do you stay in touch with any of your teammates from the 1993-94 team?
Yes. I do stay in touch with some of the guys. I am a member of the NBRPA and each year during the All-Star Game, I visit with some of the guys.
What do you do for the Wolves currently?
I am a Season Memberships Executive. I sell suites, season memberships and group outings. Each day, I speak with CEO's, teachers, plumbers, and people from all trades. They all have one thing in common: NBA basketball and the MN Timberwolves. It's cool to see how basketball can unite people in the stands as the players are on the court.
What are you most excited about for the 2012-13 Timberwolves season?
Play-Offs! We have to make it. I have friends that I played with in Europe that joke about how bad we have been and now to see those same guys give the Wolves a little respect feels good. Hoping we get healthy at the right time and to be working games in June would be nice!
You made it to the NBA, which is an amazing accomplishment for any athlete and the dream of millions. Unfortunately, your career was not a long one, totaling 17 games and 92 minutes. Looking at your Per 36 stats of 14.9 points on 51.5% shooting/10.6 rebounds/6.3 assists - those are all star numbers. Granted, it's a very small sample size. What do you think was the main thing that kept you from being able to stick with the Wolves?
Wow! I didn't realize I had those stats. If I had known that back then, I would have been more confident and played 10 years in the league. I've always had stats like that my entire career. My favorite Wolves player is AK because of the effort he gives. Win or lose, everyone appreciates when they see you trying your best, 100 percent of the time. I didn't develop better point guard skills until later in my career and that probably kept me out of the NBA.
Do you still play ball?
I play very rarely with Wolves Staff just to see if I still have a little something left. I'm getting serious about golf now cause you can never get too old for that game.
Now, a question for you, Hoopus readers: do you have any thoughts to share or stories to tell about Stan Jackson, on the court at UAB, for the Wolves, or in Europe... or in his current role in the Wolves' front office?