Trayce Jackson-Davis Wants Gold Medal With USAB As Recruitment Heats Up

ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO — Trayce Jackson-Davis made the 12-man team that is representing the USA here at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

And he feels anything short of a gold medal this week would be a failure for Team USA.

"Oh, most definitely," the 6-foot-10, 228-pound forward said here after Sunday's 103-75 win over the Dominican Republic. "We came here with no other plans but to win that gold."

He added: "It's a really great experience playing with some of the best players in the country. You always gotta be ready when your name is called but we got it done tonight, and we're just on a quest for the gold."

Jackson-Davis is the son of former NBA power forward Dale Davis, who has been an inspiration and role model for his son.

"It's a great help," Trayce said. "He teaches me things, he helps me out with stuff. But he's always there and he tries to help me be better every day."

Jackson-Davis isn't the only USA teammate with an NBA dad. Point guard Cole Anthony, who went for 18 points against the DR, is the son of former NBA point guard and current analyst Greg Anthony.

"I would assume he does the same thing [with his dad]," Jackson-Davis said.

Anthony and Jackson-Davis—along with teammates Armando Bacot, Tyrese Maxey, and Rocket Watts—were also members of the 2018 USA Basketball Junior National Select Team that took part in the NCAA Next Generation Sunday at the 2018 NCAA Final Four.

Jackson-Davis, who will play at Peach Jam next month with his Spiece Indy Heat club, has attracted a slew of coaches to Canada as well.

"Purdue, Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa and then a few others were here for me as well," he said.

Indiana is the clubhouse leader to land Jackson-Davis, a Greenwood, Indiana, native who attends Cedar Grove High School. Assistant Tom Ostrom was on hand for Jackson-Davis on Sunday.

"Indiana, they're recruiting me pretty hard," he said. "Yeah, it's crazy. Their fans are crazy; they really want me to go there bad."

Indiana scored big-time in the late signing period by landing another Indiana native in Romeo Langford, a projected one-and-done shooting guard. That, in turn, has helped momentum with other local recruits like Jackson-Davis.

“[Langford] has an impact just because the IU fans are buzzing again and they have something to cheer for,” Jackson-Davis told “Not that they didn’t [before], but they have something big to cheer for. So they want me to follow in his footsteps and I think that’s what they’re trying to get to so that they could keep the IU teams [consistently] good and never go down again.”

The Langford recruitment has also had an impact on recruits like Trendon Watford, who was cut before the 12-man USA roster was finalized. 

Other schools haven't given up on him, though. Iowa planned to have a coach here every day of the week for Jackson-Davis, and Michigan State, Purdue, and Clemson were among the others on hand. Georgia, Memphis, and UCLA are also involved.

"Georgia is working pretty hard, Memphis is, too," he said. "They're all working pretty hard."

He added: "My recruitment's still wide open. I'll probably cut down the list to five or seven in August."

Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who runs and contributes to The New York Times. Follow Adam on Twitter.

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