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Elmarko Jackson Suffers Torn Patellar Tendon: Kansas Guard Expected to Miss 2024-25 College Basketball Season



LAWRENCE, Kan. ( – Kansas sophomore guard Elmarko Jackson tore his patellar tendon Tuesday during the Bill Self Basketball Camp, the program announced. He is expected to miss the entire 2024-25 season as he recovers from surgery. The injury is a crushing blow to a former blue-chip recruit who made strides in his development during the early part of the offseason and appeared poised to take on a larger role during his second year with the Jayhawks.

Jackson averaged 4.3 points, 1.7 assists and 1.4 rebounds per game as a freshman. He shot 40% from the field and connected from beyond the arc at a modest 26.7% clip. Jackson’s playing time waned as the season progressed, and while he appeared in all 34 of Kansas’ games, all but two of his 17 starts came in the first half of the season.

“Yesterday, while working out in front of the campers, Elmarko Jackson tore his patellar tendon, an MRI conducted by Kansas team health confirmed last night,” Self said in a social media statement. “It will require surgery within the next several days and a full recovery is anticipated. Elmarko will be able to assume non-contact basketball duties in the next several months, but the full rehab process will take approximately 12 months. We are all crushed by this. Elmarko has had a terrific spring. He has worked so hard and improved so much. This will be a challenge that he will meet head on and he will return as good as ever.”

Jackson was the lone McDonald’s All-American in Kansas’ 2023 recruiting class and headlined the Jayhawks’ 2023 haul as one of four four-star signees. He was the No. 20 overall player in the recruiting cycle and ranked as the No. 4 combo guard nationally.

While Jackson carried high expectations into his debut season in Lawrence, he battled inconsistency amid a challenging transition to the college game. He started every non-conference game and strung together multiple standout performances, including an 11-point game against Missouri, a 12-point outing against Wichita State and a nine-assist performance against Manhattan.

The increased competition associated with Big 12 play stymied Jackson’s strong start, though. He averaged just 2.6 points and less than an assist and rebound per game in conference action and slipped from the starting five towards the back of the Jayhawks’ rotation.

Self said earlier this offseason, though, that Jackson was the fastest player on the Kansas roster and that he took steps forward in his development since the end of the campaign.

“He’s just so young in the game,” Self said. “He’s got to improve his shot. But also I think just by playing his feel will improve as he plays more. He’s a good prospect. He’s a good player. Probably didn’t have the you year that he had hoped. But also, he hadn’t played enough ball to probably be ready. I think we all knew it was going to take him a little time. So he’s probably right on schedule.”’s Nathan Swaffar contributed to this report.


This article originates on 247Sports.