A reserve for his first two seasons, Jaren Jackson was a valuable contributor in the post-Reggie Williams era at Georgetown.
The valedictorian of his high school class, Jackson came to Georgetown as an all-state forward from New Orleans, one of four New Orleans players on the Georgetown roster during this period. Jackson played with another 6-4 New Orleanian in Perry McDonald, who teamed with Reggie Williams in the frontcourt for two seasons. Jackson saw action in every game his freshman year and led the team in scoring in three games from the bench, but those three games were half his season total of 102 points, a 3.2 season average.
Jackson's contributions continued to grow in his sophomore season, but he remained a reserve in every sense of the word, averaging just 11 minutes a game in the Hoyas' 29-5 season in 1987. His 5.7 points per game average were boosted by strong efforts against Pitt (19 points) and Providence (11 points, 8 rebounds), but slumped to a 3.3 points a game average down the stretch.
After enduring a difficult 0 for 9 shooting effort against Hawaii-Loa in the 1987-88 season opener, Jackson showed a glimpse of his scoring promise, scoring in double figures for five games in December. Once again, though, he reverted to limited minutes of the bench. All Jaren Jackson needed was a chance to grab the spotlight, which he did on the afternoon of March 5, 1988. In the regular season finale versus Seton Hall, Jackson turned in a career high 38 points on 12 for 17 shooting, 11 for 12 from the free throw line. He followed it up in the NCAA's with 20 versus LSU and 13 versus Temple. By senior year, Jackson was ready to step up.
Jackson's arrival was a matter of great timing. Though the Hoyas had a strong offensive weapon in guard Charles Smith and the potential of freshman Alonzo Mourning, teams could lock down on Smith and work on Mourning's inexperience. Georgetown needed another scoring option, which is where Jackson's play off the ball and outside shot was an excellent fit. He averaged 16 points a game in the non-conference half of the season, and opened Big East play with 27 against Seton Hall. A 28 point game against LSU was a season high, and for the season Jackson started all 34 games, with 20 double figure scoring games. Perhaps Jackson's best--and worst-- games of the year came on consecutive starts in the 1989 NCAA tournament. With Charles Smith ailing in the regional semifinal versus North Carolina State, Jackson scored 17 in the Hoyas' narrow win, but turned in a 1 for 10 effort against Duke in the regional final, where the Hoyas lost by eight.
Following graduation, Jackson sought to continue his career professionally, but was not drafted. Instead of giving up, Jackson endured a series of stops en route to the top. After four stints in the CBA, one in the World Basketball League, and tenures with seven different NBA teams, Jackson won an NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs in 1999.
Jackson retired from the NBA in 2003 and joined the Georgetown coaching staff as an assistant to Craig Esherick. Esherick's departure in March 2004 meant Jaren's departure as well; despite the urgings of a number of former players, Jackson was not retained as an assistant. In the intervening years, he coached the Gary (IN) Steelheads to a CBA title and was a candidate for the coaching job at the University of New Orleans.