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Tech hoops player drafted by Yankees

ATLANTA - Austin Jackson, expected to compete for the starting point guard position for Georgia Tech this fall, was selected in the eight round of Tuesday's amateur baseball draft by the New York Yankees.

Jackson, a 6-foot-1 center fielder ranked among the top-100 prospects in the draft, but slipped due to concerns about his desire to play basketball at Tech.

The Yankees picked him 289th overall.

"It was real intense. We weren't sure. I was starting to wonder if they were going to call my name today," Jackson said. "I'm just glad it's all over with now."

Now comes the waiting.

"I know everybody is kind of wondering what is going to happen," said Jackson's mother, Alice.

The Yankees, with their vast revenue, can afford to offer Jackson a large signing bonus, one bigger than a typical eighth-rounder would expect to get.

That leaves the Yellow Jackets, who could also lose three-year starting point guard Jarrett Jack to the NBA, in limbo.

"I want him to do what he thinks is best for him. Coming to us, in a lot of ways, can help him, but at the same time, in no way, am I going to exert any pressure," Tech basketball coach Paul Hewitt said. "Like any coach, I want what's best for my players."

The Yankees drafted C.J. Henry, who was to walk on for the Kansas basketball team this year, in the first round, meaning they grabbed the two best basketball-baseball prospects in the draft.

Jackson averaged 22.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game as a basketball senior at Ryan High School in Denton, Texas. In his baseball career, the three-time all-state selection batted .410 with 18 home runs and 111 RBIs.

Though excited by being drafted, Jackson is conflicted about his future plans.

"I'm going to talk to my parents now whether I'm going to take their offer or go to Georgia Tech," said Jackson, who added no deal was in place with the Yankees before the draft.

"Right now, I'm just a little confused with what I want to do. I know playing both would be a lot of wear and tear on my body. But who says later on I won't have the same opportunity to get drafted after three years or even to go to the NBA. I'm still not really sure what I'm going to do."