The P.L.A.Y. Academy

The P.L.A.Y. Academy Founder

Dennis S. Jackson, a native of Newark, New Jersey, believes in kids, basketball and business.

As the founder, Executive Director and President of P.L.A.Y., Mr. Jackson has used his triple expertise to create a unique, innovative program. His fundraising skills come from a B.A. in business administration from Florida A & M University. His understanding of kids is driven by an M.S. degree in counseling and student personal services from State University of New York at Albany, and his current position as guidance counselor at the High School of Science and Technology in Springfield, Massachusetts. His passion for hoops has led him to coordinating basketball programs and camps throughout the community.

As an assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania, he saw his team capture three Ivy League titles, two Big Five titles and appear in the NCAA’s 1979 Final Four. He also lent his talents to Central Connecticut State University, Monmouth College and the University of Massachusetts. He is presently an active member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletes (N4A), and coordinates summer basketball camps (Blue Chip and Footlocker) with Leisure Service Programs in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Coach Jackson was inducted in the Five-Star Basketball Camp Hall of Fame first class in August 2000, and was elected to the Cambridge Who's Who for Executives and Professionals in 2007-08. He was also enshrined in the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame October 16th, 2008 at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, New Jersey. The dinner is used to honor former athletes who have distinguished themselves as representatives of Newark Schools, and other athletic teams or professional endeavors they have accomplished in their career. This is a lifetime achievement award induction.