JARRYD MCGUANE THE ADVOCATE Kobe Jackson will fulfill a life-long dream next week when he leaves the country to start his journey as a college basketball player.
The North-West Thunder and Wynyard point guard will move on campus at North Dakota’s Minot State University and will play basketball at NCAA Division 2 level with the Beavers.
Jackson said he was looking forward to getting the chance to show what he could do in the US.
“It has always been a dream of mine since I was young to play college basketball and it was since under 12 or under 14 when it got into my mind,” he said.
“I like acting drama and singing and that is in America and wanted to get over there.
“I am very lucky that I have been very gifted with my skills and had great coaches to help me get there, I can’t wait to get started and play hard.”
Jackson said it had taken a bit of time to get offers and was thankful for the support he had received in the pursuit of getting noticed by college.
“It has been just over the last two years that this dream started to materialise with Mark Radford and Ben and Tre Armstrong helping me out.
“Going into grade 12 I had to decide if this was going to be my path or something else, my coaches got my name out there, I had a pretty good nationals and came back with offers coming in.
“They were mostly division 2 schools and NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) offers.
“The interest from Minot was so strong and I could tell they really wanted me, where other schools had me as their second or third option, so it made the decision easy.”
Jackson, who will major in entrepreneurship, said he was also going to have a familiar face helping to get him acclimatised to the system.
“Mariah Payne from Burnie is already over there and she has one more year there on scholarship.
“It will be great to have someone over here that I know and can teach me how everything works.”
Jackson will be arriving during the early stages of the Beavers’ pre-season, so he was confident he would get a good chance to earn minutes on the court in his freshman year.
“Season starts in September and the most of the college kids are on holidays right now, so I am not missing too much.
“My coaches are a 100 per cent trusting of what I can do from what I have been told, I will go out and do what I have to for the team and be a good contributor.”
OTHER BASKETBALL NEWS:
In other basketball news, Launceston-raised Chris Goulding on Wednesday was included Australia’s FIBA World Cup squad for next month’s tournament in China. as well as warm-up games against Canada and Team USA.
NBA stars Matt Dellavedova, Joe Ingles and Patty Mills are also in the squad, with Ben Simmons, Thon Maker and Dante Exum all unavailable.
Meanwhile, Penguin NWBU player Jacob Richards was chosen to represent Australia at the FIBA Asia Under-18 3×3 Cup in Malaysia from August 22-24.
Richards was the sole Tasmanian chosen.