Each Thursday, the 13WMAZ Eyewitness Sports shines our spotlight on a central Georgia athlete who excels on and off of their field of play. This week, on Wilkinson County basketball player caught our eye. Meet Clarence Jackson, our Athlete of the Week.
High school basketball season may be over...but school is definitely still in session. The Wilkinson County Warriors just wrapped up another successful season with the school's ninth state title and one Warrior hits the books as hard as he hits the glass.
"This team, for me, went through a lot of adversity this year, being healthy, being unhealthy, teams beating them that haven't beaten them in the past. But, to take that and work through that gives those kids a lot to have pride about," head coach Aaron Geter, Jr., said.
The Wilkinson Co. Warriors are coming off back-to-back state championships and will no doubt try for the three-peat next year. That preparation begins now, not just improving their jumpers, but also acing their tests.
"We know if we get it done in the classroom, it translates to the court," Jackson said. "We know to keep our grades high so we can be eligible to play."
That's not a problem for the junior. Jackson has a 3.7 grade point average and hopes his efforts can motivate his peers and his teammates.
"If I show people that I am dedicated in the classroom, a lot of people will want to imitate me and be just like me," Jackson said. "I know if I am successful on the basketball also, it will inspire others also."
"It also influences others around him and pushes them to be their best and sometimes maybe even out do Clarence, which is hard to do," Wilkinson Co. High School English teacher Gloria Newsome said. "It pushes them as well, so that's a good thing."
Geter says having Clarence on his team makes his job easier as a coach come tip-off.
"It's easy to put things in at the last minute, and also he can contribute to every other kid on the team in terms of learning it very quickly, so that it will work for you," Geter said.
Jackson wants to play basketball in college, but is also looking for a great institution so he can study sports medicine.
"You're talking about a kid that's got aspirations and dreams that won't be killed because he is taking care of the academic part of the school, so he represents everything that we work for everyday in activities as far as extracurricular," Geter said.
"I want to show them it's not bad to be smart, and it's good to get your grades," Jackson said. "It will take you anywhere you want to go, so it will translate straight to the court and you will be successful."
With that mindset, we can see why he is a champion on the court and in the classroom.