Uplift’s Markese Jacobs stars in Nike commercial

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Uplift’s Markese Jacobs (0) gets a windmill dunk in the second half against Leo. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

It doesn’t take very long to notice Markese Jacobs on the basketball court. The 5-11 senior is a bundle of strength, power and athleticism.

But Jacobs says it wasn’t a highlight dunk that convinced Nike to make him the subject of its latest commercial. It wasn’t even his status as the city’s best player.

“I was playing in the open run at the new Nike church and my team wasn’t very good, but we kept winning,” Jacobs said. ” A couple of people from Nike said they liked what I did, keeping the team motivated. So they asked me to be in the new commercial.”

The spot begins in Jacobs’ actual bedroom. An alarm wakes him up, we see his basketball trophies and then he heads out to play ball.

“That’s the court I grew up playing on,” Jacobs said. “I still play there.”

The filming process took a day and a half. Nike didn’t pay Jacobs for starring in the commercial, but he enjoyed being on camera.

“Most of the scenes we were doing weren’t too hard, it was fun,” Jacobs said. “I was comfortable.”

When he actually saw the finished product, he was moved.

“When I first watched it my body felt real weird,” Jacobs said. “I shed a couple tears of joy. This is something I always wanted to do. For me to represent the city, I just felt blessed.”

Jacobs decommitted from Kansas last month. He committed back in October of 2016.

“I just want to take this process slower this time,” Jacobs said. “I don’t think I’m going to take any visits soon. That may change, but I think I’ll wait until college basketball season starts.”

He still has an offer from Kansas and has picked up offers fromNebraska, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Illinois and DePaul.

“[Jacobs]had a great summer,” Mac Irvin Fire club coach Mike Irvin said. “It was huge. He showed that he is one of the best guards in the country.”

Jacobs knows the commercial is just going to increase the already huge target on his back heading into the season.

“It will light the spark,” Jacobs said. “Now everybody who was gunning for us, when they see that it will increase double. They will say ‘that kid is somebody, we are going to try to stop him.'”

Uplift coach David Taylor admits he was surprised to see one of his players featured so prominently by a shoe company.

“I didn’t even know Nike was doing commercials with athletes in high school so it came as a bit of a surprise,” Taylor said. “It’s well done. He looks awesome. He looks like a professional athlete with the way it is done.”

The Titans lost to Orr, the eventual Class 2A state champs, in the sectional semifinals last season. Jacobs was terrific. He scored 23 points before fouling out in overtime.

“It’s going to be real young team this season,” Jacobs said. “But if I can get everyone on the same page it is going to roll.”

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