Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic rookie Justin Jackson looking forward to getting back to the player he once was

#Justin Jackson

With his right shoulder injury now firmly in the rearview mirror, Canadian Justin Jackson is ready to move forward and get back to the player he once was.

The 43rd overall pick was formally introduced to his new team the Orlando Magic on Friday and make no mistake about it he's ready to prove the doubters wrong.

"My shoulder feels great. Honestly, some days I forget I even had the injury," Jackson said Friday at his introductory press conference. "I've been working ever since I got cleared a couple of months ago. It was just like I hit the ground running - three times a day I was in there trying to get back to the player I know I can be."

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The player Jackson was once viewed as was a high major recruit coming out of high school who ended up at Maryland. In his freshmen year, he was second on the team in scoring only behind college standout Melo Trimble - knocking down 44% of his threes. Jackson was a first-round pick waiting to happen, but a right shoulder injury would see his stock drop eventually landing him in the second round of Thursday's draft.

On a Magic roster full of youth and in the midst of a rebuilding process under first-year head coach Steve Clifford, Jackson should have the opportunity to fight his way onto the roster and earn meaningful minutes.

In an NBA that's increasingly becoming more position-less Jackson's tools may help benefit Orlando's rebuild earlier than expected.

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Sure Not Now

"I see myself as a position-less player just because of how well I can impact the game without necessarily scoring," Jackson said. "I can do a lot. I can rebound. I can push the ball in transition.

"I enjoy finding people - I'm unselfish and I feel like that's one of my greatest qualities. I can knock down a shot, space the floor - there's a lot I can do.

"Whichever way Coach [Clifford] wants to use me, I'm going to do my best to impact the game from that spot, regardless of the role.

"It's just basketball. I've been doing this since I was young. I love playing and I feel like the game comes natural to me."

Jackson will join the Magic's summer league team in Las Vegas - it will be his first chance to prove that his hard work behind the scenes has paid off. It will also be his first chance to impress his new team, new head coach and new teammates. It also presents a chance to remind himself what he already knows - he's right where he should be.

"I'm just going to lock in and be focused.

"Everybody's just telling me, 'You got past this first obstacle, now you just gotta keep working and get back to the player that you once was.' "

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