“I go hard as hell,” says Larry “Lam” Jackson. The little dude who’s built like an NFL running back at 5-foot-8 and 190 pounds isn’t playing. The 34-year-old from Gary, Indiana is like a package of dynamite. His game is explosive and on the court he does whatever it takes to win despite any obstacles put in his way.
“I don’t do too much talking cause niggas be literally wanting to fight me. Nigga stay in their feelings and the crowd don’t make it any better. When I’m in kill mode, you’re dead,” Lam says.
And from what he’s been doing at FCI Loretto – killing the competition – the kid is not faking. He talks the talk and walks the walk, backing up all his words on the court.
Going to the rack, busting treys, posting up... Lam scores at will and reminds people of a similar bulldog-type point guard in the league who roughs it off on the regular.
“My game is more like Baron Davis. Can get it anywhere on the floor I want. My range is unlimited. What makes my game special is my will to win. I got that nobody can stop me attitude,” Lam says.
He proved it last Winter League (2007) taking the A-league title single handedly by dropping dazzling moves, forays into the paint and 30-point games in leading his team to the title.
“Ever since I’ve been down, I’ve played like that,” Lam says. “I’ve had so many moments like 41, 18 and 11 in a game, scoring 49 on the outside team. But the most recent championship was one of my best moments. Our whole starting frontline fouled out and we were left with only 4 players on the floor. We went into double overtime and I caught fire and we pulled the game off. The C/O told me that he been down 22 years and that’s the greatest performance he’s ever seen. I almost agree.”
Lam has been in the system a minute busting ass and taking names on the court.
“Been down nine years for conspiracy to deliver crack cocaine. I got 27 years,” Lam says. “I’ve been in FCI Greenville in Illinois and here at FCI Loretto in Pennsylvania.”
He has been doing his thing in the feds, shining on the court and on the pound.
“I’ve been on every varsity team that’s been assembled. Only lost two games in eight years against outside teams at FCI Greenville.”
Lam was like that on the street too.
“Played high school ball in Hammond, Indiana at Gauit High. I played one year at South Suburban Community College and two years at University of Dubuque in Iowa. I was all everything in college. I just got caught up in this dope game.”
He had dreams of the league too.
“Yeah, I wanted to play professional ball but size did play a factor. If not that, I was that nigga. My favorite player is Kobe Bryant. So you know I roll with the Lakers. I wish I could say I play like him but I’m more like Baron Davis.”
A miniature version of him at least. With the same bulldog mentality. And Lam knows in prison if it ain’t rough it ain’t right, so with his game he fits right in with all the roughnecks.
“Dudes take it to the next level in here,” He says. “Most fights start over basketball and the TVs. For real, when dudes get in they feelings it actually excites me so I go at them harder and whatever happens after that happens. Hopefully, niggas can just keep it on the court. If you will, I will. I respect everybody, except rats.”
That’s how it goes in the pen.
Lam remembers back to his first time balling in prison.
“My first experience was the same that it’s been on the street. I’m trying to show niggas that they ain’t got a chance in hell guarding me,” he says. “I ain’t gonna front. When I first went to FCI Greenville, them niggas had straight game.”
Because in prison that’s all dudes do. Play ball. Lam knows, he’s done it but he’s slowing down a little.
“I don’t rec as much as I used to because my hand was broken and it’s still healing but I still do the damn thing on game day. Since I’ve been down, I done seen some helluva players. Niggas go hard in the joint. Straight game.”
And Lam doesn’t get down with all the streetball antics.
“I’m from Indiana man and we don’t really get down with all that And1 stuff. All we know how to do is get buckets in bunches. I mean And1 is cool for the fans but what’s more embarrassing than having your opponent keep grabbing the ball out the net after you just killed him?”
You know when it’s crunch time Lam is gonna demand the ball.
“I have to have the ball when the game is on the line,” he says. “It’s not that I’m selfish but I truly believe I’m gonna do something positive with the rock. If we lose I’ll take the blame every time.”
Lam doesn’t do much losing, though. He is arguably the best player on the pound here at FCI Loretto. And he’s got the chip so dudes will have to see him. All challenges go through Lam.
The dude lives and breathes basketball. He’s the type of dude that stays down in the gym all day. Bullshitting with dudes, shooting, playing, watching.
“I’m an easygoing-type dude,” he says. “If I can’t get along with you, then something’s wrong. I watch some form of b-ball everyday. I don’t care if it’s the worst players in the world, I’m watching. I just love the art of the game.”
And here at FCI Loretto other prisoners love watching Lam’s art because for real, the kid is like that and the court is his canvass.