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Wayzata's Jackson McAndrew, son of former Fargo South star who played at UND, generating ample D-I interest

Wayzata (Minn.) High School rising junior Jackson McAndrew is the son of Fargo South graduate and former UND men's basketball player Steve McAndrew.

Jordan, Steve and Jackson McAndrew on the basketball court.
Fargo South graduate Steve McAndrew, center, is the father of Jordan McAndrew, left, and Jackson McAndrew, right. Jackson is a rising junior for Wayzata (Minn.) High School and is starting to generate big-time NCAA Division I men's basketball recruiting interest.
Special to The Forum
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FARGO — When Steve McAndrew was being recruited out of Fargo South High School in the late 1980s, his recruitment process lasted a couple months.

Before his senior year at South, he committed to play men’s basketball at the University of North Dakota for head coach Rich Glas. McAndrew attended summer camps after his junior year at South and made his decision before his senior year started.

“It was about a two-month recruitment process,” said McAndrew, a 1989 South graduate. “It was a lot of letters and not a lot of conversations. … It’s kind of a year-round process now.”

More than 30 years later, the recruitment of his oldest son, Jackson McAndrew, is starting to heat up this summer. Jackson, a 6-foot-8 rising junior at Wayzata (Minn.) High School, is garnering interest from multiple NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs. He received an offer from the University of St. Thomas in April.

“He’s already exceeded the level of play that I ever was,” said Steve, a 6-foot-7 forward who played at UND from 1989-94. “He’s playing at a very high level and I think his ceiling is a lot higher than mine.”

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Wayzata High School's Jackson McAndrew.
Jackson McAndrew has generated interest from multiple NCAA Division I schools for men's basketball. He is the son of former Fargo South basketball star Steve McAndrew.
Kobe Bohr / Special to The Forum

Jackson, who is in the 2024 recruiting class, has talked with 13 Division I programs, including Big Ten Conference members Wisconsin and Nebraska. He’s also garnered interest from teams in the Big East Conference, ACC, Missouri Valley Conference and both North Dakota State and UND. The lanky sharpshooter plays for the Howard Pulley E16-and-under team.

“It’s been a great summer, a lot of fun,” Jackson said. “My goal has been to play Division I since I was little. I don’t really have a specific level, (I want) the right fit, I guess.”

Steve has marveled how recruiting has changed since his prep days, with players now having access to traveling teams and training that weren’t readily available when Steve played for the Bruins. Social media and digital messaging has also changed the game in allowing coaches to more easily and frequently communicate with recruits.

“It’s a very exciting time watching him go through this and the success that he’s had and it’s kind of the start of it,” Steve said. “For me, it’s interesting because it’s so different from what it was when I played. We didn’t have AAU. We didn’t play year round and we’d go from one sport to the next and maybe play some pick-up ball in the park in the summer.”

Steve played for the 1988-89 South team that won a North Dakota Class A state boys basketball championship, going undefeated. Along with McAndrew, that team featured 6-foot-7 senior center Chris Gardner, 6-3 senior guard Tony Paper, 6-3 senior forward John Sorby, 6-0 senior guard Brock Satter and 6-2 junior guard Greg Stephens. Those Bruins had a brashness, with warm-up jerseys that read: “Smilin’, Stylin’ and Profilin’.” South finished with a 25-0 record that season.

“It was an awesome experience, great teammates,” Steve said. “I think that showed in how we played and our record in going undefeated and winning the state tournament, very unselfish players and we all were really good friends.”

Steve also was on multiple successful teams during his UND career. UND advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in his first two seasons in the program, including his redshirt season. Those teams featured notable players like forward Scott Guldseth, guards Ben Jacobson, Mike Boschee and Rico Burkett, forward Dave Robertson, Gardner and center Dave Vonesh.

“I’m still very close with my UND teammates,” Steve said. “There were some really good players.”

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Jacobson is now the head men’s basketball coach at Northern Iowa, which has expressed interest in Jackson.

Steve said Jackson’s strength is shooting with range beyond the 3-point line.

“Jackson is making huge strides, but similar to me, it took time to grow into that body. His specialty is shooting,” Steve said. “He’s improved on the other aspects of his game. … He’ll need to continue to do that if he wants to play at that highest level.”

Steve’s father, Jim McAndrew, and three siblings still live in Fargo. Jackson’s Howard Pulley team plays on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit and Steve marvels at the caliber of play.

“The teams are bigger than the college teams when I played,” Steve said. “Their talent level just blows me away. It’s fun to watch.”

Jackson played in a sixth man role for Wayzata during his sophomore season, but was injured for the section tournament. He's embraced playing against high-end talent during the offseason tournament circuit.

“I don’t really think it really affects my game too much, other than you want to play well,” Jackson said. “It motivates you to play better. It’s been an enjoyable process.”

Steve said he and wife Jennifer are letting Jackson handle the recruiting process, providing guidance when needed. Their youngest son Jordan, who is 5-foot-8, is entering eighth grade and also a talented basketball player.

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“You go through the ups and downs with both. You kind of feel it through them,” Steve said. “You try to guide them the best that you can. Watching them progress from year to year and watching them put in the amount of time they do … and seeing them blossom.”

Steve is excited to see where Jackson’s basketball career leads.

“We’ll let him kind of feel it out, it’s ultimately his decision,” Steve said. “I think his best years are yet to come.”

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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