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Also see:  NBA guard DJ Augustin works out with XU Coach Dannton Jackson (photo page)

from left: Brandon Bass, Xavier men's basketball coach Dannton Jackson and Shan Foster
Brandon Bass, left, and Shan Foster, right, sought out Xavier coach Dannton Jackson for offseason help.

Pro players turn to XU's Jackson to fine-tune their skills
September 15, 2009

     NEW ORLEANS — For Brandon Bass and Shan Foster, two young players trying to climb the ladder of success in professional basketball, their offseason was incomplete without more lessons from Dannton Jackson.
     Jackson, in his seventh season as men's basketball head coach at Xavier University of Louisiana, conducted regular workouts with Bass the past three weeks at The Barn to prepare the 6-foot-8 forward for his fifth NBA season and his first with the defending Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic. Foster, a 6-6 guard who played in an Italian pro league this past season, also participated in some of the Xavier workouts.
     Neither player's appearance at Xavier was accidental. Both Bass and Foster played for Jackson as teen-agers on the New Orleans Jazz, an amateur summer select team. Both players used that experience as a springboard to success in the Southeastern Conference. Bass was the SEC Player of the Year as an LSU sophomore in 2004-05, and Foster won the same award as a Vanderbilt senior in 2007-08.
     Now both are making money at the game they love, and both give credit to Jackson for their development.
     "I was fortunate to play for Dannton," said Foster, who is considering offers from two European teams for 2009-10 and was a second-round pick of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks in 2008. "He could coach at the next level. That's why you have guys that come back and work out with him in the offseason."
     "Dannton is great at what he does," Bass said. "He helps me on the court. He helps me off the court. He worked with me on the little details to help me take my game to the next level."
     Like Bass, the Magic will be looking to improve too.

      Xavier men's basketbal coach Dannton Jackson, left, instructs Brandon Bass

Xavier men's basketball coach Dannton Jackson, left, instructs Brandon Bass at The Barn.

Orlando lost in five games to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals after beating the Eastern Conference's top two seeds, Cleveland and Boston, in the playoffs.
     "Orlando's got a bunch of scorers," said Bass, "They need someone who'll do the dirty work — rebounding, run the floor, play defense. Those are some of the things Dannton's been working on with me."

 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and track and field and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

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Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
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(504) 520-7934 fax

 
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