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Editors note: The 2016-17 college basketball season will be the Year of the Freshmen, featuring what could be the best class weve ever seen. Over the next two weeks we will get familiar with the best of the best, examining who they are and where each of the top 10 prospects in the 2016 ESPN 100 came from.Read more: No. 10 Dukes Frank Jackson | No. 9 Kentuckys Malik Monk No. 8 Michigan States Miles Bridges | No. 7 Washingtons Markelle Fultz No. 6 Kentuckys DeAaron Fox | No. 5 Kentuckys Bam Adebayo No. 4 UCLAs Lonzo Ball | No. 3 Dukes Jayson Tatum No. 2 Kansas Josh Jackson | No. 1 Dukes Harry GilesDURHAM, N.C. -- On Nov. 15, Frank Jackson will don his No. 15 jersey for Duke University, step on the court at Madison Square Garden -- The Worlds Most Famous Arena -- and take on Kansas in a nationally televised game between two preseason top-five teams.The next day, Will Watanabe, Jacksons best friend, will board a flight to Tokyo, where hell begin his mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Watanabe will spend two years in Japan, not even venturing home for a long weekend.Win or lose, Jackson will return to Durham immediately following that Kansas game, where hell settle back in as one of the big men on campus. More than 34,000 fans will continue to track his moves on Instagram, while another 12,000 will read his 140-character messages on Twitter.Watanabe said he wont be able to use Instagram, Twitter or any social media during his 24 months in Japan. He wont even have a smartphone. Instead, hell share the one phone he has with his Mormon traveling companion, and theyll be able to use it only for LDS purposes. In fact, Watanabe can call home just twice a year -- Christmas and Mothers Day -- and will have access to email once a week.Naturally, you can guess who is jealous of whom.I really wish I was going too, Jackson said.Instead, Jackson has opted to make basketball his mission, and his mission basketball -- the perfect combination for a person who values his faith even more than his crossover.We dont have multiple wives, Jackson explained. We dont all have 20 kids. Were not a cult. Were Christians. Were normal. We believe in being good people.This, in some ways, is Jacksons mission: breaking down the perceptions and stereotypes that still chase Mormons to this day. With offshoot sects of their religion drawing attention thanks to reality TV shows such as Sister Wives and Big Love, LDS members are still viewed with a quizzical, if not altogether skeptical, eye. Many people either dont understand what Mormonism is or they base their opinions on misinformation.The very thought that Jackson even toyed with deferring his college basketball career for a mission might have sounded crazy.But up until last year, Jackson had every intention of going away on a mission. Peppered with questions about his future as he traveled the recruiting circuit, he remained steadfast in his desire to be a missionary. It was not because he felt he had to. He simply wanted to.Jackson essentially was reared on three principles: to compete, to succeed and to serve.We never cared what they wanted to do, Jacksons father, Al, said. But whatever it was, they were going to excel.Al lived the message he preached, setting a rather high bar for his five kids to meet. A former college basketball and baseball player at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, he graduated from the rigorous academic school and then earned a masters degree from John Hopkins. He put those degrees to use in Washington, D.C., working for 13 years as both a lobbyist and consultant, involved in providing counsel on national issues that frequently included homeland security. He turned that experience into a position as a state senator, appointed to a vacant seat in Utah in 2014.Eh, he was only a state senator, Frank joked about his dad.That is the essence of the oldest boy and second youngest of five kids in the Jackson family.Jackson and his older sister, Kayla, were the alpha dogs in the house. Each wanted things their own way and were downright competitive -- and occasionally combative in the process. Since the two left for college -- Kayla is at BYU and will marry on Dec. 22 ?during her younger brothers lone break from hoops -- Al and his wife, Juleen, cant help but notice how peaceful their home is now.But Al was no fool. He made sure his sons goal to rule the roost would go through him, and Al was ready to meet or block his son as necessary, sometimes quite literally. The two started squaring off in hoops just as soon as the boy could swish a bucket on the six-foot Fisher-Price hoop in the basement. Al never once let his son win.Id scream, Youre the biggest jerk ever. Youre an old man. You couldnt let me score a couple of times? Frank Jackson said. And he never did.Yet, almost every single time, after hed storm off forsaking his dad, Jackson would return for more, sometime within minutes.He has worn us out since he got here on this Earth, his father said, obvious pride in his voice. But he learned to be competitive.Such bullheadedness might seem mutually exclusive to a faithful life, but as fervent as Al and Juleen were about teaching their kids to work for what they wanted, they were even more devoted to their faith. Juleen was born in Sandy, Utah, and raised a Mormon. She was working as an intern in D.C. when she met Al; about three weeks into their relationship, she brought him along to church.Raised a Baptist in South Carolina and Maryland, Al was skeptical. He held plenty of his own stereotypes about the Mormon faith, tantamount among them that few members were of his race.?Instead, at an inner-city church in D.C., Al found a congregation diverse in color and socioeconomic status. Kids, many of them without fathers, loved the former basketball player, and soon Al was not only a regular at church, but he was also in charge of the youth hoops team. His faith grew in lockstep with his relationship with those boys -- many of whom he stays in touch with to this day -- and in 1992, he converted.A year later, Al and Juleen were married. When Frank was 11, the growing family moved to Utah. Surrounded by kids of his own faith, Frank grew up as they all did, dreaming about the day they would head off on their mission.?When you grow up in the LDS culture as Franklin did, going on a mission is just a natural progression, Al said. We talked to him about it since he was a baby, but we really didnt have to talk about it. Thats what all the kids did.Watanabe actually was the better athlete, at least at first. He matured faster than most of his buddies, which means he also grew taller earlier, and so when his club team played Jacksons, Watanabe usually emerged the victor. He was cocky about it too, reminding Jackson who owned the court.Genetics eventually sucked the air out of Watanabes braggadocio, and by the time the two started training at a nearby gym that concentrates on agility and speed work, Jackson left Watanabe in the dust.He could jump higher than everyone else, do all the drills faster, Watanabe said. He just stood out.One night, Jackson dropped 30 points in a high school game as a freshman, and his father thought perhaps those Fisher-Price throwdowns had their merit. BYU thought the same. When Cougars coach Dave Rose offered Jackson a scholarship in 2013, the freshman quickly accepted.The Provo school seemed ideal, with a very good basketball program and one that understood his Mormon faith. Deferring entry to BYU for a mission would be more the norm, not the exception there. But one year later, as Jackson worked his way up the recruiting ladder, he also worked up the courage to get out of his commitment.He kept the Cougars in his final list but also added Utah, Stanford and Duke.To the Blue Devils, who struggled without a true point guard for much of last season, Jackson was a prize worth fighting for. By the end of his senior season, he ranked No. 10 in RecruitingNations ESPN 100. Skeptics questioned just how good a player out of the less fertile Utah recruiting bed could be, but scouts loved his speed, playmaking and especially that alpha-dog competitiveness.The way Al, who knows a thing or two about excellence, figured it, there arent a whole lot of people in the world who can claim to be among the very best in their fields. Mike Krzyzewski, Al reasoned, can. Saying yes to Duke, then, was easy.Saying no to a mission? That was altogether different.It was a really hard decision, Frank Jackson said. Very hard.There were no ultimatums and no pressure. Everyone -- coaches, parents, friends -- said they would honor whatever decision he made.But how do you decide between a lifelong dream and a lifelong dream?Jackson opted not to. He decided he could do both.The purpose of an LDS mission is not simply to proselytize but also to live by example. Jackson realized that while he wouldnt?immerse himself as Watanabe and his other friends will, he would have a pulpit and a platform that they dont have. Every interview, every television appearance offers a chance to explain what being a Mormon is -- and more, its a way to demystify the religion.Im in the spotlight, Jackson said. Everyone is watching us. I can use that as a chance to be a light in the world, in a sense, to show people how I live and what I believe.As it turns out, Jackson can do a little old-fashioned missionary work too. He already has connected with people serving their missions in the Raleigh-Durham area and his semi-fame has helped them speak to people who otherwise might have declined.Jackson also has found a church and is quickly becoming an active member of the congregation.Its in Chapel Hill.They know Im a Duke player, but so far so good, Jackson said. Well see what happens when we play Carolina.Blue Devils and Tar Heels coexisting? That certainly has to qualify as good missionary work. Buccaneers Jerseys Online . -- Brandon Jennings made the most of his first game with the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night. M. J. Stewart Womens Jersey . - Chris Tierney snapped a tie with a power-play goal late in the third period as the London Knights rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Erie Otters 5-3 in Ontario Hockey League action on Wednesday. http://www.cheapbuccaneersjerseys.net/ . John Lucas, signed as a mentor for rookie Trey Burke, showed he can score if required, scoring 12 points of his 16 points in the second quarter as Utah built an 18-point lead. Jack Cichy Womens Jersey . 8 Kansas to a 64-63 win over Texas Tech on Tuesday night. The freshman from Vaughan, Ont. Vita Vea Womens Jersey . Anthony Calvillo, through 20 CFL seasons, was frequently invincible and largely stoic in the heat of competition. But underneath the professional exterior he was, and is, compellingly human. INDIANAPOLIS -- Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin guessed wrong.He expected Andrew Luck to overcome a head injury and suit up for Thursday nights primetime game.Instead, the Indianapolis Colts ruled out their star quarterback Wednesday after he missed practice for the third straight day.The likely replacement will be the rarely used Scott Tolzien, whom Tomlin doesnt have much tape on because Tolzien hasnt played since the preseason.But Tomlin didnt win two Super Bowls without successfully devising contingency plans -- and hell have to rely on that experience to win at Indy.I just think its prudent for us to prepare for Andrew and then react to whatever may transpire thats different than that, as opposed to the other way around, Tomlin told Indianapolis reporters during a conference call before Wednesdays injury report was released.Indy (5-5), of course, did a good job keeping Lucks status shrouded because thats how NFL teams operate.And Pagano didnt drop any hints about his backup plan, either, when he told reporters Tuesday simply that the Colts had options.The most likely scenario, of course, is that Pagano sticks with Tolzien.Otherwise, Pagano could go with Stephen Morris, a practice squad player who was promoted to the active roster Wednesday, some combination of both or use running back Frank Gore in the wildcat formation as the Colts have done sporadically the past two games.None of those options, of course, would be as promising as having Luck.Theres no choice now, and Pagano cant afford to fret with a critical game looming between two playoff contenders.Its just football. Its life in the National Football League, he said. Theyre not cancelling the game and so well put our best foot forward.Complicating matters is that Pittsburgh (5-5) has posed major problems for the Colts.Theyve won the past three in the series, the past two by a combined score of 96-44.Losing Luck, who entered the concussion protocol Sunday night after complaining of concussion-like symptoms following a victory over Tennessee, wont help.But with only four days between Sunday nights diagnosis and this weeks game there wasnt enough time to get him cleared by doctors and the Colts finally made the decision to hold him out.You can rub dirt on a lot of things, but you cant rub dirt on the brain so you have to be smart with that, said Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.Here are some other things to watch Thursday:BLING BBLINGFour days after honoring the Colts 2006 Super Bowl team, they will have another halftime celebration when former coach Tony Dungy and former receiver Marvin Harrison receive their Hall of Fame rings.dddddddddddd Both were inducted in August, were part of the title team and could not attend Sundays ceremony.BROWN & HILTONAntonio Brown and T.Y. Hilton grew up together as youth league teammates and are still friendly even when theyre on opposing sidelines.This week, theyll be chasing the same goals. Brown needs 93 yards to join Hines Ward as the second Steelers receiver in history to record four straight 1,000-yard seasons.Hilton needs 112 yards for his fourth straight 1,000-yard season, something only two other Colts receivers (Harrison and Reggie Wayne) have done.LEARNING ON THE JOB: The Steelers have three rookies starting on defense: safety Sean Davis, cornerback Artie Burns and nose tackle Javon Hargrave.Theyre growing up quickly. Burns has two interceptions in Pittsburghs past three games, Davis has rapidly gone from lost backup to first string and Hargrave recovered a fumble for a TD in Cleveland.The Steelers will need their fresh legs over the final six games to make the playoffs for a third straight season, something theyve never done under Mike Tomlin.I just hope they keep coming along the way they have, defensive coordinator Keith Butler said.SOMETHING HAS TO GIVEWhile Pittsburgh has lost four straight Thanksgiving Day games since 1983, the Colts have won the only two such games theyve been involved in since the move to Indy.The Colts also have won 10 straight Thursday night games since 2007. But they havent beaten Pittsburgh since 2008.LEAN ON LEVEON: Oh the benefits of being 24. Steelers running back LeVeon Bell is feeling good just a few days removed from a heavy workload against the Browns.Bell touched the ball 32 times while piling up 201 total yards and Pittsburghs only offensive TD in Cleveland. The more carries Bell gets, the better things seem to go for the Steelers.Pittsburgh is 8-2 when he runs for 100 yards.He is a young guy that wants it all the time, offensive coordinator Todd Haley said. I havent seen him ever dragging around after a big game, which is what he had.---For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Throwback Youth NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China ' ' '

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