By: Claire Zhou
Most N.B.A. players' moms typically do not participate in union meetings. However, Terri Jackson is far from a typical N.B.A. mom.
Terri Jackson holds a unique role as the executive director of the W.N.B.A. players' union. In February, she received an invitation to attend the N.B.A. players' union winter meeting. As she fine-tuned her presentation for the meeting, her son, Jaren Jackson Jr., was chosen as one of the union's vice presidents through a vote.
During the gathering, Jaren Jackson Jr. delivered a brief speech expressing his desire to bridge the gap between seasoned players and younger talents, like himself. He conveyed his willingness to shoulder this responsibility.
Upon concluding his speech, Terri Jackson felt an immense surge of pride and wanted to stand up and applaud. She was elated to witness her son's remarkable maturity. Suppressing her excitement, she clenched her fists tightly, ensuring not to cause any embarrassment to her 23-year-old son. When Jaren Jackson Jr. was elected as vice president, she finally allowed herself to celebrate by raising her arms in triumph.
In just five years of his basketball career, Jackson Jr. had already outperformed his father's achievements. In the previous season, he earned the title of N.B.A.'s Defensive Player of the Year and contributed significantly to the Grizzlies' remarkable performance, resulting in one of the best records in the Western Conference.
Reflecting on his journey, Jackson Jr. emphasized, "If you love the game, that’s what you’re really doing it for." He aspires to establish a strong foundation for aspiring young players, whether they are his own children or others, ensuring that when they envision playing in the league, they do so with a solid base of values and principles.