Posted On: 07/28/16 4:00 PM
When a player’s talent and work ethic are so clear that collegiate programs don’t even wait to see a high school game, you know a kid is special. That’s the case for Zeb Jackson (2020), a 5’9” point guard, who recently was offered by two Mid-American Conference programs: Akron and Toledo.
The incoming freshman will play at Maumee Valley Country Day School for high school ball. In the forthcoming summers, scouts can catch him with All-Ohio Red, whom he played with for the majority of the summer.
When asked if he is aware of other programs interested, Jackson simply responded, “Not sure yet.”
What he is aware of is the importance of work ethic.
Jackson told PHO that he has spent nearly the entirety of his summer in the gym — with the daily assistance of two trainers on top of two personal workouts.
What keeps him motivated?
“Just knowing that it’s not really anything else that I really enjoy like basketball. Basketball is what I really enjoy. And I have fun playing basketball, so that’s what I do all day,” Jackson responded.
“I’ve been trying to improve on attacking the basket and going coast-to-coast without stopping … So, really I like to shoot a lot, so I’ve been working on doing the opposite. Which is getting to the basket and working on stuff like defense. Trying to use less dribbles getting to the basket.”
He also added that strength-training has been emphasized this summer.
Zeb Jackson (2020) putting on a pick and roll clinic in the U17 Showtime Division. Playing with Ohio Celtics. pic.twitter.com/6rFQuJ6X4P
— Prep Hoops Ohio (@PrepHoopsOH) July 15, 2016
A few weekends back at the Adidas All-In Classic in Cincinnati, Jackson played in the 17U division and was exceptional in limited playing time.
His maturity beamed from the court — not only in body language, but in court vision and decision making. After baiting defenders, the incoming freshman was coming off pick-and-rolls and hitting upperclassmen with no-look rockets.
To keep the defense honest, Jackson can fill it up quickly byway of the jumper. So, while point guard will be the primary position, he’s a real scoring threat if defenses pay too much attention to the passing lanes.
Jackson’s maturity is apparent when speaking with him, as well. Conducted himself like a veteran during the interview, and seems to be approaching his high school career with long-term goals in sight.
“Academics is what’s going to get me into college. I can’t play basketball without being good in academics and having a good education,” Jackson said.
All of this work in the summer months is likely to be returned with a large reward once the high school season starts.
“I’m really excited to actually get to play in high school. I know I used to love going to watch the games … I know there’s going to be a lot of people coming to watch, which makes it even that more exciting. And I’m just ready to have fun.”