Baller’s Almanac for January 11th, 2012

Troy ‘Escalade’ Jackson was born on this day in 1976, in Queens, New York. The 6’10 Jackson (the younger brother of Mark Jackson) weighed 500 pounds his senior year in high school. He played at famed Rucker Park in New York City and caught the attention of basketball coaches despite his weight. He played at Wallace Community College in Alabama and maintained his weight in excess of 500 pounds. Louisville took a chance on him, but forced him to slim down. His playing weight his senior year was around 365 pounds. Jackson later toured with the AND1 exhibition and with the Harlem Globetrotters.

Troy Jackson died in his sleep on February 20th, 2011, at the age of 35.

On this day in 2008 Glen Rice was arrested in Miami, Florida on suspicion of felony battery. He beat a man he found at the home of his estranged wife. The man needed 9 stitches to close a wound on his head, and the charges were later dropped.

The Bryce Jordan Center opened on this date in 1996. The 15,000+ seat arena replaced Rec Hall as the home of the Penn State Nittany Lions. The arena is located across the street from Beaver Stadium. During the recording of a live Aerosmith album, lead singer Steven Tyler can be heard yelling “State college” to rile the fans.

On this day in 1980 Damien Wilkins was born in Washington, North Carolina. He would end up at Dr Phillips High School in Orlando and from there he signed with North Carolina State. After two years with the Wolfpack he left school for the NBA, but at the last minute pulled out of the draft and transfered to his uncle Dominique’s college, the University of Georgia. After two years there he went undrafted by the NBA. He was able to work his way onto a roster though, and has since bounced around the league as a part time starter.

Other birthdays include Chris Ford 1949 (Villanova) Conrad McRae 1971 (Syracuse) and Terence Morris 1989 (Maryland).