What I Did This Summer: Coach basketball at Little Gamecocks Camp
"What I Did This Summer" follows a number of University of South Carolina students this summer as they work, travel, and explore the world. Many of them are blogging about their adventures. This is the third story in the series.
Some people might call 58 little kids learning how to play basketball in an indoor practice facility "cleverly controlled chaos."
That's a good attitude for him to have, especially since he is one of the coaches at Little Gamecocks Camp, a three-day summer event for children aged four to seven.
"When the kids get here in the morning, we warm up with stretching and some dance moves," Jackson said, shaking out his hands to demonstrate.
"Then we break into small groups and they play at different stations: passing, ball-handling, shooting," he said. "Then they play some five-on-five. That's when they are really wild, crazy, and energetic, but it's fun."
Jackson was about the same age as these campers when he first began to play basketball.
"I was around five," said the sophomore from Charlotte, NC, who is the youngest of four boys. "I always went to watch my brothers practice and play, and it wasn't too long before I was playing, too." All four of the Jackson brothers have gone on to play college basketball.
Jackson is a great role model for the youngsters he's coaching.
As a South Carolina freshman under Coach Darrin Horn, the small forward started 30 games and averaged 7.2 points and 5.0 rebounds an outing while shooting 50.5 percent from the field.
At Christ School, a college-preparatory high school in North Carolina, Jackson led his team to a 34-2 overall record and the North Carolina Independent School Association State (NCISAA) Championship in 2007-08. He received All-State NCISAA 3A accolades, and he was named Carolina Athletic Association All-Conference and All-Western North Carolina. He was ranked in the Top 100 prospects by Scout.com.
On the court at the University's practice facility, it's easy to spot the 6'5" Jackson and the other coaches -- all of whom are Gamecock staff and players -- in a sea of squealing children.
And if the campers are energetic and excited now, just wait until the last day of camp when Cocky stops by for a visit.
More 2010 "What I Did This Summer" stories
By Web Communications