Jaren Jackson Jr.’s Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jaren Jackson Jr.

Getty Jaren Jackson Jr.

Jaren Jackson Jr. was born on September 15, 1999, to Jaren Jackson Sr. and Terri Carmichael Jackson. He was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, but moved around a lot growing up due to his father’s basketball career. The Memphis Grizzlies star, an only child, and his parents ended up settling down in Indiana.

Here’s what you need to know about Jaren Jackson Jr.’s family:

1. Jaren Jackson Sr. Is a Former NBA Player Who Won the 1999 NBA Title With the San Antonio Spurs

Jackson’s father is Jaren Jackson Sr., a former basketball star and NBA champ. His son recalled moving around a lot when he was growing up, including New Jersey, Maryland and San Antonio, all because of his father’s career.

Jackson Sr. played in the NBA for 12 seasons total and won the 1999 NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs, coached by Gregg Popovich. Jackson Sr.’s former Spurs teammate, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, said Jackson Jr. has an “impressive family,” he told the Washington Post. “What he’s coming from is rock solid.”

Jackson Sr. played at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he met Jackson Jr.’s mother, the Post reported. He was a 6’4″ shooting guard and played from 1985 to 1989. He was undrafted after college and bounced around with various minor league teams before eventually getting signed by the Washington Bullets for the 1996-97 season. He received a lot more playing time with the Bullets and after the season was signed by the Spurs and stayed there for four years.

When Jackson was growing up, his father helped to train him into a well-rounded player. When he attended La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana, as a senior, his father joined the bench as a volunteer assistant coach, but made sure not to be too overbearing on his son, the Post reported. While speaking with Kelcey Wright Johnson for the “Just Grizzlies” podcast, Jackson claimed that he first beat his father at the sport when he was around 11 or 12 on their backyard court.

Jackson has been clear in the past, however, that his father is his hero. “Every kid who plays ball eventually gets asked to name their favorite player,” he wrote for the Players’ Tribune. “I always looked forward to being asked that because all my life I’ve been lucky enough to have the perfect answer ready to go: ‘Dad.'”

He said his father has had a big impact and influence on his life and he’s grateful that he already went through a similar career path so that he can always turn to him for advice. “I’m incredibly thankful for all that he’s done to help me pursue my dream, and everything he will do in the future,” Jackson wrote.

Jackson Sr. currently works as an assistant coach for the Westchester Knicks of the NBA G League.

2. Jaren Jackson Jr.’s Mother Is Terri Carmichael Jackson, a Lawyer & the Executive Director of the WNBPA

Jackson’s mother is Terri Carmichael Jackson, a lawyer and the current executive director of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA). When she was growing up, she wanted to become a lawyer like her father, LeRoy Carmichael, she told Sports Illustrated. Her objective was to be the first Black woman to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court.

She played tennis in high school and was a cheerleader, but focused solely on academics after high school. She attended Georgetown and graduated with a bachelor’s degree followed by her law degree, her LinkedIn shows. From 2012 to 2016, she worked as the director of law, policy and governance for the NCAA. Afterward, she began working for the WNBPA.

Terri Jackson was a key representative for the WNBA players who were fined in 2016 for wearing T-shirts supporting Black Lives Matter, The Seattle Medium reported. “I begged and pleaded for the league not to fine them,” she shared. “It was a pretty intense conversation. And they still fined the players anyway.” The fines were eventually rescinded after pressure from the public.

The executive director said it’s always important for her to empower other women, and told the publication, “I always say that if you’re in a boardroom or a meeting and you’re the only girl at the table, celebrate that moment; but then realize that you have a responsibility to make sure that never happens again.” She currently splits her time between New York and Memphis.

3. Jaren Jackson Jr. Was Influenced By Both His Parents Growing Up & Said They Never Pushed Him Toward Basketball

Jackson followed in the footsteps of both of his parents in a way, as an NBA star like his father but also channeling his mother’s interests by becoming one of the Grizzlies’ representatives with the NBA Players Association.

Despite that, Jackson’s made it clear that his parents let him follow his own interests and never pushed anything on him. “One of the things I love about my parents is that, even though they knew I had a talent for basketball, they let me discover my passion for it on my own,” he wrote for the Players’ Tribune.

He wrote that he wasn’t just focused on basketball when he was younger but also swam competitively and loved skiing. “When I was little, I even learned how to sing in Hebrew at the local JCC,” he wrote.

Eventually, he decided to put his full focus on basketball and said his father was an excellent teacher. “He taught me from his experience and helped me improve,” he wrote. “He gave me helpful pointers and hard truths. I’ve always wanted to be just like him, so I tried to follow his lead however I could.”

The Grizzlies star was also inspired by his mother and became one of the Grizzlies’ representatives with the NBA Players Association. He also hosted an all-girls symposium with local high school teams, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.

“He’s part of a different generation,” his mother told the publication. “He’s a part of a generation which recognizes what girls can do in sports, and he recognizes their accomplishments and cheers them on. So with the all-girls symposium, that was a way to highlight them, put the spotlight on them and give them support.”

Jackson was also an extremely bright kid in school, and he would have become a lawyer like her if his NBA career didn’t work out, Terri Jackson told the Washington Post. “When he was in nursery school, my mother told me that Jaren Jr. was smarter than me and my husband put together,” she shared. “It wasn’t a wisecrack. He could always think two steps ahead.”

However, Jackson joked on the “Just Grizzlies” podcast that he said he’d be interested in law before he found out that law school would take around eight years. He laughed, adding that he felt lucky that his basketball career was working out so he didn’t have to spend that long in school.

4. Jaren Jackson Jr. Shared That His Parents Were Both Instrumental in Helping Him Reach a Decision for College

Jackson’s parents helped him throughout his recruitment process thanks to both of their backgrounds and experience but without smothering him or imposing their choices on him. While writing for the Players Tribune, Jackson said his father scouted the schools that were interested in him, watching film and preparing reports on each.

He said his father wanted to make sure that what was said to the Jacksons matched what he witnessed in his research. On the other hand, Terri Jackson knew every word of the law thanks to her work as the director of law, policy and governance for the NCAA. “I used to get nervous when she came on visits because everyone else seemed to get nervous, too!” he wrote. “Conducting investigations wasn’t her job, but she knew practically everyone in the NCAA’s enforcement department.”

The Grizzlies star said he’d discuss his options with his parents and they’d ask each other questions and write a lot of notes and points down. “Beyond being my parents, they were also the two best resources any kid could ask for during the recruiting process,” he shared.

Jackson also said that when he had questions for his parents, they’d often push their son to find his own answers and come to the decision by himself. “At first it felt like a cruel mind game,” he said. “But eventually I realized something: They were encouraging me to make my own decision. I already had all the information I needed.” He said it was important to pick a school with a great basketball program but also a focus on academics.

The combination of his father’s basketball knowledge and his mother’s business perspective on the sport combined to create in Jackson a well-rounded player who naturally had dreams of joining the NBA. “That’s what’s in my family. I take a lot from both my parents… We breathe basketball,” he told the Washington Post.

5. Jaren Jackson Jr. Considers Memphis Home Now & His Parents Bought a House Near His Downtown Apartment

Jackson and his parents are very close today and spend as much time together as possible, with Jackson Sr. based in New York and Terri Jackson splitting her time between New York and Memphis. In fact, the Grizzlies star settled into Memphis quite easily and told the “Just Grizzlies” podcast in 2023 that the city feels like home to him now and his mother lives down the block from him.

The Jacksons now have a house in the suburbs of Memphis while their son has an apartment downtown, the Post reported. After a game, Jackson and his father will talk about it, with an emphasis on positive and encouraging messages. As for Terri Jackson, she told Memphis Commercial Appeal that the city is home.

“I may work in New York during the week, but most Fridays I am running through the airport to get that last flight home,” she shared. “When I land, everything is different. It’s a whole different pace. It’s a whole different rhythm. I can seriously exhale. It’s warmer here. The air is balmy and warm. But the people, you are generous and warm. This is why we call Memphis home.”

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