Thursday, March 3, 2011

The 6-foot-10 street basketball star Troy Jackson, who weighed as much as 500 pounds, surprised all with his ball-handling skills. Troy Jackson, 38 was the big man who played like a guard. He had a showy style of play that gained global attention when its games were shown on ESPN. He died recently in Los Angeles and lived in Dix Hills, N.Y. The cause of death by the Los Angeles medical examiner’s office was reported from hypertensive heart disease.
He was an unlikely figure on the court. Nicknamed Escalade after the Cadillac sports utility vehicle, he had real good ball-handling skills that surprised opponents and spectators alike. The ball looked like a volleyball in his hands and he tossed it around like a softball. Robert D. Purvy, the executive director of the sneaker company And1 said, “The thing that stuck out most was athleticism and agility that belied his size.”
The company ran the And1 Mixtape tour, in which a team of professional street ball stars toured the United States challenging local players. “Great dexterity, great ball-handling, and he had a sense of style and a flair for the dramatic.” Purvy said. With his exuberant personality, Jackson became a fan favorite when the And1 tour was broadcast on ESPN and ESPN2. With his personality and unbelievable size, he was always noticed. No one dominated him even any other heavy big guy that would appear for a challenge.
Born in Queens, N.Y. he was surrounded by basketball. His brother Mark played guard for the Knicks and other N.B.A. teams. Troy grew up around Madison Square Garden working for a time as a ball boy. He accepted a basketball scholarship to the University of Louisville. He played with the Harlem Globetrotters and the International Basketball Association before joining the And1 tour. He was among those featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2005 and later played woth other street ball organizations like Ball Up. Not bad for a 500 pound guy.

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