Sun Sports Contributor
NEW BERLIN – Coming off of a stellar freshman campaign a season ago, Unadilla Valley’s Andrew Jackson repeated with an even better 2016-2017 campaign as he was honored by the New York State Sports Writers Association receiving a spot on the all-state seventh team for Class C boys high school basketball.
Notably, Jackson was also the only player from the Mid State Athletic Conference to receive the honor, and also one of two Chenango County basketball players to be bestowed the accolade.
Anyone who is familiar with high school hoops understands the difficulty of achieving such statewide notoriety and that’s precisely what Jackson has achieved as a sophomore.
The only returning UV starter from the 2015-2016 season, Jackson recorded an average of 20 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in 2016-2017, doubling his scoring total from his freshman campaign.
Impressive as it is for a senior to average 20 points, it’s even more impressive for a sophomore to average 20 points per contest. But in Jackson’s eyes, offense isn’t the primary focus of his game, despite being the number one scoring option on his Unadilla Valley Storm team.
“I like to play defense,” said Jackson. “Defense wins championships, defense feeds the offense through fast breaks.”
Jackson doesn’t pride himself on the glamorous stats such as scoring, he prefers the route of physicality and speed given his athletic 6’3” frame. The tenacity and drive that the young shooting guard has speaks volumes of what his ultimate goal is: winning.
His competitive nature extends far beyond the basketball court as he boasts an active profile within the realm of athletics as a three sport athlete.
“Whatever it takes to win, I’ll try to accomplish it to the best of my ability,” said Jackson.
Jackson started the 16-17 season with something that is unheard of in high school sports recording a triple double.
In the Sherburne-Earlville kick off tournament in December, Jackson sported the impressive stat line of 18 points, 10 assists and 13 rebounds. Yet surprisingly, it wasn’t his most memorable game of the season.
The competitive spirit of Jackson delivered in the Mid State Athletic Conference playoffs. Joined by his Storm teammates UV knocked off the then NYS Class C 10th ranked team in the Sidney Warriors in a 68-65 upset victory-sending the Storm to the MAC championship game. Jackson led the way in that game with 26 points, along with delivering the final four points for the free throw line to seal the deal – not too shabby.
But winning isn’t everything to the blooming sophomore, he understands the importance of staying calm and composed on the court as well as having a positive attitude in the locker room.
“Helping others and having a positive mentality is key,” said Jackson.
Alongside his attitude towards basketball plus his overall skill, Jackson was selected to compete in the 18th annual Stars & Stripes Classic. Competing among the best athletes the Southern Tier has to offer, Jackson deemed himself to be very fortunate to participate.
“I knew there was a lot of tough competition. I was happy and honored to participate with those guys,” said Jackson.
With another basketball season in the books, Jackson looks forward to the upcoming 2017-2018 basketball season. Jackson thanked his coaches, teammates and most importantly his family for creating a support system that has dealt him so much success on and off the court.
“My parents always put me in the right position to succeed, both on and off the court,” said Jackson. “They’ve been supportive of my endeavors and I can’t thank them enough for it.”