Marcus Jackson of the Splash turns things around as West wins IBA All-Star game
By JOSH LICHTENFELD Post-Tribune correspondent June 24, 2012 11:08PM
Updated: July 26, 2012 6:25AM
GARY — Saturday night’s playoff exit for the Gary Splash didn’t leave a good taste in the mouth of playmaker Marcus Jackson.
Luckily, Sunday’s All-Star festivities offered Jackson a chance at vindication.
With 1.4 seconds of regulation left in the All-Star game, Jackson kept the West team alive with his two-pointer to tie the score at 76. In a one-minute overtime, the West defeated the East 84-76.
“It was definitely nice after losing (in the semifinals to Kankakee) last night,” said Jackson, who finished with the second most points on the West team with 16. “It was good that I was put in a position to knock down that shot. Thank God, I did it.”
The All-Star game tipped off prior to the Independent Basketball Association championship game between the Kankakee County Soldiers and Albany Legends,
Jackson and Gary native Chris Wesby (11 points) represented the Splash in the game, played in college-style halves. With 3:18 left in a tightly contested first half, Jackson set up an alley-oop jam for the open Wesby.
“I wanted to make sure there was a Splash connection there,” Jackson said. The jam made up for a failed attempt at the same play moments prior.
Another threat for the West was Chris Ayer, an NBA D-League veteran. The 6-foot-11 forward of the L.A. Lightning led the West with 20 points, three dunks and four blocks).
“It’s a no-brainer for me,” Jackson said of finding Ayer.
Wesby’s day started early. The 6-foot-9 forward represented Gary in both the dunk contest. He scored 83 points, but lost to the 97 points of Kankakee‘s Billy Baptist. Wesby was a last minute fill in for the 3-point contest; he made five, but fell short of Kenosha‘s Thomas Cobbs’ nine.
For his second dunk, Wesby dressed up in a pinstriped button-down shirt and slacks and finished with a one-handed slam; he scored 45 points on the dunk. Wesby said his inspiration was Clark Kent.
“I was just trying to do something different,” Wesby said.