Deion Jackson-Houston, a Dallas high school basketball prospect originally from Duncan, Oklahoma, was killed this past Saturday. He was visiting family in his hometown for the July 4th weekend and, as he was driving back to his grandmother’s house after an errand, his car was struck by a train as he drove through a railroad crossing which lacked warning lights or a mechanical barrier. Jackson-Houston had just turned 17 on June 23rd. A member of the class of 2012, he had been recruited by several schools, many of them in Texas, but ranging throughout the country. The Dallas Morning News has a writeup of the incident, an account that is as heartbreaking as it is complete.
Please understand, we know that this kid was more than a college basketball prospect, as the title to this post suggests. At the very least, he was a son and grandson, an uncle to two nieces — the eldest of those is a mere three years old — a brother, and obviously a friend to many. We didn’t know Deion, so there’s no way we can even begin to comment on what he meant to those around him, or try to estimate what the family is going through right now. For what it’s worth, our thoughts and prayers are with Deion and his family. Not to get too cynical, because we’re all for kids having fun, but we hope that if there are any big-time high school prospects out there who are more worried about how lavish they can make their college announcement parties and how many TV stations and websites they can get to broadcast and live-stream them, maybe just one of those guys will read about Deion, understand how very lucky they are, and realize the unimportance of such fleeting adornments. Requiescat in pace, young man.