Ameer arrived back home in the United States on a basketball high after his performance in Qatar. But the joy of his burgeoning pro career was challenged by the pain of injury. A slight ACL tear meant he would have to sit out the 2019-2020 season.
“I rehabbed hard. Put so much money in my body. Worked and kept God first and just kept pushing,” Ameer said. “And my body is the best that it’s ever been. This is the best that it’s ever felt.
After rehabbing his knee, Jackson had signed with a team in Africa and was ready to resume his career when another unforeseen obstacle hit — COVID-19.
“They treated me good there. It was beautiful there, they put me in a resort, but I had to leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
So once again, Ameer Jackson had to wait.
It’s late October, and Ameer Jackson is still in Kannapolis. And I still haven’t finished this story. Every couple of weeks Ameer makes sure to tap in with me to make sure I haven’t forgotten him. And every time he hits me, I feel guilty I still haven’t wrapped things up.
But Ameer isn’t tripping, though. And if he is, he’s not showing it. I hit him up to do a second photoshoot (I didn’t have my memory card on the first shoot back in July.) at the last minute, and he made it happen. Perseverance and persistence seem to be embedded in his DNA, along with patience.
A slowdown with his VISA has kept him from getting to Qatar. But he’s expecting to go at the end of the month. It would be easy for him to be frustrated about the extended wait. But Jackson doesn’t give off that vibe at all.
“Don’t rush the timing,” Ameer told me in July. “It’s all God’s speed. It’s all gonna happen. You just gotta do what you gotta do.”
During the shoot I ask Ameer to pull out his pro jerseys, and put them on the chain-link fence we’re shooting in front of. Then I asked him to throw up the “fo,” which he was more than happy to do.
As I drive back home, the number four is stuck in my head. I did some digging on the meaning behind the number.
That’s Ameer Jackson.