A promise kept: Flint native donates uniforms to Hamady basketball team

FLINT, Michigan — Playing basketball was always a lifelong dream for Flint native Roy “Rackk” Jackson Jr., but keeping a promise was something even more important he wanted to fulfill. 

The former Hawk, who graduated in 2010, is a prominent figure at Hamady High School’s showcase. Jackson can recall his athletic experience throughout elementary and middle school and his team’s undefeated 90-game record until high school. 

However, it wasn’t that memory that allowed him to do something greater for his former high school. It was the vivid memory of a conversation with Lamont Torbert Jr., a player for the 2022-23 Hamady High School Basketball varsity team. 

“I remember working out with Lamont when he was in middle school, maybe seventh grade,” said Jackson. “I always told him when he got to high school, I was going to design his jerseys and it was just a word I kept.” 

For the 2022-23 season, Jackson is donating custom-designed uniforms for the varsity team. The team will have two different sets of uniforms – a home design and an away design. In addition, each player will receive a warm-up jumpsuit and custom backpacks. 

The 'home' uniform design for the Flint Hamady High School Hawks.The 'away' uniform design for the Flint Hamady High School Hawks.Jackson played college basketball for Grand Rapids Community College and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He played professional basketball abroad in Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Croatia. He is signed to the Colorado Springs Crossover Professional Basketball Minor League. 

Although Jackson has transitioned his love of basketball to other places around the world, he likes to stay involved with the dynamics of Hamady’s current basketball team. He was proud to learn that the Hamady High School varsity basketball teams won district championships, made it to D-2 regional finals, and moved up a class division. 

“I knew they were doing so good, so it was a promise and a reward as well. Even though I told Lamont about the jerseys, it's more like they all deserved it. When you do good things, you deserve to be rewarded,” said Jackson. 

He also plans to keep an even bigger promise for the seniors.  

“They don't know yet, but for the seniors, I'm going to get them the same home and away jerseys with their names on the back. It will basically be like a token that they can take with them. Something to cherish because most high schools don't let you take the jerseys home,” said Jackson. 

“I want them to know that even though I'm a professional basketball player, I will always come back to my high school and give back.” - Roy “Rackk” Jackson Jr.He says the players have been calling his phone, thanking him for the donation, but his response goes beyond the average ‘you’re welcome.’ “It's not a ‘thank you,’ it's more like a reward because I'm your big brother,” said Jackson. 

At the end of the day, he wants to assist the future generation of basketball players, financially, mentally, and academically. Outside of playing professional basketball, he owns a basketball recruiting service, Dreamz Two Reality Basketball LLC., helping high school athletes get into college. 

From being on the court assisting teammates to fulfilling promises beyond the court for students, Jackson wants to embody the true purpose of “paying it forward” to his former high school. 

“Ever since I graduated in 2010, I always come back to Hamady to practice with the players. I want them to know that even though I'm a professional basketball player, I will always come back to my high school and give back.” 

Read more articles by Miriam Bingham.