Midnight Madness’ All Star, Orlan ‘OJ’ Jackman, finished this year’s competition on a high as he’s officially been signed to play for Portugal’s Pro A outfit, CAB Madeira.
Celebrating its 16th anniversary this year, Midnight Madness has always been in the business of helping talented British players make the leap from street to elite, and Jackman’s story is another example of how the organisation has bridged the gap between dreams and reality.
Jackman proved his worth all summer long, displaying great stamina and focus to endure the MM Semi-Final All Nighter which then rewarded him the chance to battle it out on the all white court in this year’s MM15 National Men’s Final.
Jackman’s individual contribution during the MM15 Finals earned him a spot on this year’s travel team, where Midnight Madness made history by heading out with a male and female team to compete in one of Europe’s most respected tournaments – The TAÇA Cup Championship.
Up against Portuguese pros, Jackman didn’t shy away from showcasing his ability to hang with the best of them, dropping a mean 35 points in MM’s first win of their three game series against CAB Madeira.
This initial win helped set the tone of the tournament as the British stars came away with a clean sweep, winning 3-0. Their success came down to a great team effort, and all throughout, Jackman proved unstoppable, averaging 20.6 points and 11.6 rebounds across the competition.
Jackman said, “I had a great time in Portugal and believe this year’s MM Travel Team did well to deserve the win. I am thankful to Midnight Madness for giving me the opportunity to show my talent and that’s exactly what I did. My expectations for the season ahead is to go out and be an absolute monster to make the most of my time playing for CAB Madeira.”
President of Portugal’s Pro A Team, Francisco Gomes, spotted the potential in Jackman from early on in the tournament after his stand out performance in game one.
Gomes said, “Orlan knows the game. He has his head on his shoulders [and] is very level minded. He’s a good team mate and the game comes naturally to him. He’s not out to score, but ends us being the best scorer; he’s not out to rebound but ends up being he best rebounder. Orlan has the natural basketball talent and the humble personality to go with it…that’s a great combination that I think any team would want in a player. He can play in any team and in any league at the highest level.”
Jackman will now be joining Duke-Jermaine Forbes and Ejay Ofomata, and so it will be exciting to watch this trio do everything in their power to have a successful season with their new team.
With three players all going to work abroad, Midnight Madness has once again proven the calibre of basketball talent in the UK. For ballers all across the country, Midnight Madness is renowned, perhaps more so now than ever, as the summer competition to make your name known as the journey from the qualifiers to the finals may just be the stepping stone many need to turn pro.
To catch up with Jackman’s story this summer, watch the videos above.