Jefferson lands scholarship with Chadron

Shane McOwen's picture
JACOB JEFFERSON of Buckeye goes up over Flagstaff’s Christian Singleton during the 4A state playoffs in February. Jefferson will continue his basketball career at Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb., after receiving a full-ride scholarship.  View photo by Ray Thomas
JACOB JEFFERSON of Buckeye goes up over Flagstaff’s Christian Singleton during the 4A state playoffs in February. Jefferson will continue his basketball career at Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb., after receiving a full-ride scholarship. View photo by Ray Thomas

Jacob Jefferson was a force for three years of varsity boys basketball at Buckeye. Now, he’ll use his skills to help Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb.

Jefferson, a 6-7 power forward who can also play wing, received a full ride scholarship to Chadron State.

It means a lot,” Jefferson said of being able to play at the collegiate level. “This was a goal, something I wanted to do my whole life, and I’m really happy I got the chance to sign and have the chance to play at the next level.”

Buckeye coach Randy Bland said Jefferson was an impact player during his time at Buckeye.

It’s awesome for Buckeye to have a kid receive a full scholarship, and I think we have a couple more coming Division I, which is good,” Bland said.

Chadron State is a Division II school that plays in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Jefferson’s connection to the school came through Buckeye assistant coach Otis Frazier, who played two years at Chadron.

He introduced me to the coach and they started recruiting,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson took his visit early in the spring, and loved the school, he said.

It was amazing,” Jefferson said. “I like that it’s surrounded by a small town, it’s kind of like Buckeye. Everyone was super friendly. I love the campus, the arena, the coaches and the team. Everything about the school and basketball, the staff, everything was great.”

Jefferson said Chadron State also has excellent facilities, including a newly renovated gymnasium and events center. The Chicoine Center has a 1,750-seat basketball arena.

I haven’t really played in an arena before,” Jefferson said.

Chadron State was one of five colleges Jefferson received offers from, he said. None of the other schools was offering the same amount as Chadron.

Once I took the trip to Nebraska, I knew that was the place for me,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson said he thinks he’ll have an opportunity to start as a freshman, but he’s going to have to work hard.

I think if I get in there, change my body, make myself into a college player, be athletic enough, quick enough, I’ll be able to start my freshman year,” Jefferson said. “I’m at 255 [pounds] right now. They’re telling me they want to drop me to 235 with muscle. Build me up, lose some weight and be able to guard smaller guards, and stay with the 3s [small forward] and 4s [power forward].”

In addition to being physically strong, Jefferson will also have to use the mental side of the game if he wants to be successful.

The talent level, a lot of those kids can play, but the game is 80 percent mental,” Bland said. “If he’s not strong willed, he won’t be successful at that level. But he’ll be fine.”

Jefferson said Bland taught him about always being mentally tough.

It’s going to be super hard when I get out there, I’m not going to know anybody, new coaches, new staff, new team, it’s going to be tough,” Jefferson said. “I just have to make sure I put in the work to be successful.”

Bland said Jefferson’s biggest improvement at Buckeye was his leadership and maturity.

It was his understanding that everyone looked up to him, so he had to be a role model for all the younger guys, and his peers,” Bland said.

Jefferson is looking to major in physical therapy, while doing a minor in business. He said one of his biggest takeaways from playing at Buckeye is to always be competitive and don’t take any team, or player, lightly.

There’s always someone out there working as hard as me, wants the things I’m giving as hard as me, so I have to take advantage of every opportunity I’m given,” Jefferson said.

 

Casey Pritchard can be reached at caseypritchard@westvalleyview.com or on Twitter @CaseyonSports.



Rate this article: 
No votes yet
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
6 + 12 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
Comment Here