Freshman Emoni Jackson is the second California native to come to Michigan in the last two years, joining sophomore Siera Thompson. Jackson was the No. 85 prospect, according to the All-Star Girls Report to help Michigan's 2014 recruiting class rank as the No. 23 class nationally. After missing her junior season to a knee injury, Jackson transferred to Long Beach Polytechnic High School and helped the Jackrabbits to the 2014 CIF Open Division championship.
In today's Summer Session, Jackson discusses her time so far at Michigan both on and off the court, along with the challenges that come with adjusting to the Eastern time zone. Jackson also talks about what she has been working on in terms of basketball and why she wears No. 24.
On her time so far at Michigan ... "It's been good. It was a little hard getting used to the long days but I am feeling better about those. I am now used to the time difference. My body was finally able to adjust and I am getting used to all the work that goes into college. The time change was the hardest because I was waking up so early here, which was like 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. to me. It was really hard on my body for a while and made going to class and the workouts that much harder. It took about two and half weeks for me to get fully adjusted to the time change because I was going to bed so late because I wasn't tired. It has gotten a lot better.
On having a fellow Californian on the team in Siera Thompson ... "It really helps a lot. I look at her and I know that she had to go through the same things last year. I know if she could do it, I can do it. Siera, even before I got here, was telling me how much hard work college is. Having her around has definitely helped me."
On the advantages of coming to school in the summer ... "At first, I was a little bummed and thinking that I wasn't going to have a summer. Now that I am out here, I now know how to get around campus before everyone else is here. I am able to figure out what professors expect out of you in college. I am actually going to have one of my summer professors in the fall, so that helps. There are a lot of people here that are helping us all adjust to college. For basketball, now I don't have to start from the beginning in the fall. We have an early jump on both basketball and school by coming in the summer."
On what she has been working on in the gym ... "Now that I know what position I am playing, which is the 4, I have been working on my post game a lot more. I am working on getting stronger in the weight room. The coaches told me that they need someone who is going to go out there and screen for other people and get rebounds. I have been trying to focus on those two things because that will help me get on the floor. It was nice that they told me that because it is missing. If you do that, you play. If you don't do that, you will have to work a lot harder to get on the floor."
On head coach Kim Barnes Arico ... "Coach Arico is amazing. She just has so much energy and she is so passionate about everything. The passion that she has makes me want to play as hard as I can for her. She can be tough but she only wants the best for me."
On her decision to attend Michigan ... "When I came on my visit, I just wanted to see what Michigan was about. I didn't really know much but once I started to get more information about the school, the people here and what they stand for, I got a feeling that this was the place to be. Getting closer to the coaching staff and meeting them in person really helped show me what Michigan was all about. It is not just about athletics here; academics are just as important, which I want. Basketball is not going to be forever. My Michigan degree is going to go a lot further than a lot of other degrees."
On wearing No. 24 ... "In 2009, my sister passed away from cardiac arrest. Her birthday was April 24. Since then, I have been wearing No. 24. I remember that because Katelynn (Flaherty) had committed first, she was the one who was going to get it. I talked to her and explained why wearing this number was important to me. Katelynn was totally understanding about it and now I am wearing it. It makes me really happy that I am able to play for my sister because I know she is watching over me. I like feeling that I have that part of her with me when I play."
On the team ... "They are great. We are a family. I was expecting it to be a little clique-y because that is how most teams are but it is not like that here. That was a big reason I came here because everyone is together like a family. No one is separated from the group. Everyone is included in everything. That is how we are on the court too. If you are able to be that close off the court that automatically flows onto the court."
Previous Q&A: Maria Backman