Jackson Danzig had a pretty good game Friday against Martin Luther King. He scored 25 points, with a bunch of them coming late in the Comets’ double-overtime PIAA playoff victory. That was the game that earned Athlete of the Week honors. Perhaps he was feeling pumped up about the award, because he put together an even better game Sunday. Danzig scored 30 points, hit 5 3-pointers and helped the Comets to another double-overtime win — this time over Chester to advance to the PIAA semifinals.
There was plenty left over from Danzig’s interview, including what he does well on the court, the fact the Milwaukee Bucks are one of his favorite teams — and not just because of the Greek Freak — who we likes in this year’s edition of March Madness and what basketball games are like in the Danzig family.
What’s the difference between playing in states and regular season games? I’d say it’s a little bit less pressure (in states), because around here we have such a high reputation and everyone in this area expects Abington to be good every year, so there’s a little bit more pressure on the team. And our coaches just make sure everybody’s working hard, putting our best effort out there every day in the regular season.
Describe your game a little bit. What do you think you do well? I can shoot the ball — I’m a decent shooter. I’m able to put it on the floor, which most people at 6-5 aren’t really able to do. So, that really helps me a lot. I’m able to get to the rim. If I get the chance to dunk, I will — most likely — dunk it. And then I like helping my team get the best available shot. I won’t take that selfish shot. I’ll move the ball around, just hope we can get that best available shot.
What types of dunks do you have in your repertoire? In games, I usually just stick to the one- or two-hands. But I’m able to do windmills, I’ve gotten it through the legs once or twice, so that’s always fun to do.
Favorite sports teams: I like the Boston Red Sox, I like the Orlando Magic and the Milwaukee Bucks, and I’m a Cincinnati Bengals fan, so I’m kind of all over the place. On the Magic, I like Elfrid Payton, he’s their point guard. Just his work ethic — he’s overcome a lot through his life to get where he is. And the Milwaukee Bucks, because I like Jabari Parker.
I thought you were going to say … (Giannis) Antetokoumpo?
Yeah. He’s amazing. I know.
You see the dunk he did where he took like two steps after half court? You see the double-clutch one he did?
So you like Elfrid Payton because of his work ethic. Why do you like Jabari Parker? He has a great work ethic, too, because he’s half blind, basically, so he had to learn to shoot with one eye, and you do that by practicing shooting in the gym in the dark. Just make it harder.
You’re the youngest in the family. Can you take the brothers in basketball yet? Or do they still push you around? I can sometimes take Ross, because he’s an old man now. He’s been out (of college) for two or three years now and he’s getting old. But he’s still able to bully me. Whenever I play Ethan, it’s always a great match because he never wants to lose to me and I never want to lose to him, so those games are always pretty close.
How often do you guys play? During the season, it’s tough to play a lot of one-on-one, but in the summer and then whenever we’re home or whenever Ross comes home from Philly, we always try to play a couple games of one-on-one, see who gets the bragging rights.
Do you go one-on-one-on-one? Or do you go two-on-two and your dad gets into the games? My dad used to get into it. We’d play two-on-two or we’d play 21. But now, since he’s getting a little bit older, he can’t move as quick. Everything hurts a lot more after he’s done playing. So we usually do one-on-one-on-one and our dad and our mom will just sit out there and watch us and cheer us on.
Do the games get pretty physical? Yeah, I’d say so. No one wants to lose. That’s sibling rivalry.
How’d you get into soccer? It just gave me something else to do in the fall because I didn’t like sitting around and I always liked the sport when I was a little kid. I got thrown into goal, and I ended up liking it a lot, so I was like, “I might as well just stick with this.” It worked out.
Are you a FIFA player? I do enjoy a good FIFA game.
Who do you play with? I usually play with Borussia Dortmund, just having Marco Reus and (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang connect on a couple through balls.
Amongst your group of friends, where would you rank yourself in the FIFA hierarchy? Not that high. I have like FIFA 2015, and everyone’s playing ’17.
It’s March Madness. Who do you like in the tournament? I like North Carolina. Everyone around here is a huge ’Nova fan, so I really don’t want to see them win because they beat us last year on that 3-pointer from Kris Jenkins, which was very upsetting. So, I’m hoping North Carolina can go back-to-back and reach the championship again.
Do you know what you want to do after high school? I’m looking to play basketball at the collegiate level. Right now, I’m feeling out my choices, seeing what I can get for D-I. And then obviously I would love to play for my dad if I don’t go D-I.
You think he’s going to extend an offer to you to play at the University of Scranton? Uh, I hope so. He extended it to both my brothers, so I hope I get the same offer.
Did he make your brothers work for it? Yeah. His philosophy is you have to earn your playing time. It’s just not given to you, because that’s not right. So, it’s up to us to put in the extra time and the extra work to earn our spot on the team and to prove our point that we belong on the team.
Would you mess with your dad as a coach? I mess with my dad all the time right now. I’m sure I would listen to him a little bit more while he’s the coach, but … yeah.