It’s been a big year for Zeb Jackson in more ways than one.
The point guard prospect in the class of 2020 from Maumee Valley Country Day School has played himself into nearly a dozen Division I scholarship offers after leading his team to the Ohio regional semifinals as a sophomore.
He’s also continued to grow. Now listed at roughly 6 feet 3, an increase of about five inches since he got to high school, Jackson has high hopes for this summer as he participates this week in Ohio State’s team camp with his high school.
“Last year was our first year here,” he told The Dispatch after opening the day against Massillon Jackson on the main floor at Value City Arena. “It’s nice being able to play on the main floor, being able to see what it’s like to play on a college floor because it’s a lot bigger and great competition.
“Even though it’s June and it’s team camps, I’m still getting ready for July because July is a big month for me and our AAU team. I’m still working on what I have to work on for AAU and just trying to get ready.”
In a late-morning start, Jackson showed his ability to maneuver out of pressure and flashed an ability to get into the paint in transition. He played much of the game with Ohio State assistant coach Mike Schrage watching, and coach Chris Holtmann was on hand to see him drain a three-pointer in the final moments.
The Buckeyes are one of the 10 schools to have offered him a scholarship.
“It was really exciting,” he said. “I was on the visit with the staff and I was able to meet just about the whole staff. It was crazy.”
Last weekend, Jackson took unofficial visits to both Butler and Xavier on the same day. Both offered.
“Just about every school I’ve gotten an offer from, I’ve visited, except for Providence,” he said. “It’s a blessing. I’m happy that it’s happening. I still want more and to get more recruiting just to see what other schools are like. It’s a neat experience.”
Jackson also got the chance to re-acquaint himself with a fellow native to the Toledo area. William Buford, Ohio State’s third all-time leading scorer, was at the facility with fellow alumni Evan Turner, David Lighty and Lenzelle Smith and came over to say hello before the Hawks took the court.
“We’re cool,” Jackson said. “It was nice to see (Buford) again because he did go to Ohio State. It was cool to see him. He used to come up to Maumee Valley a couple times and work out, so we know each other. I haven’t had many conversations with him, but it would be good to have a conversation with him.”
In an interview this week, Maumee Valley coach Rob Conover told The Dispatch that Jackson is in no hurry to make a college decision and will likely wait until his senior year. Today, Jackson said he’s focused on two areas as he weighs his options.
“Academics and relationships, because basketball will take care of itself,” he said.
Check back Thursday and Friday for more coverage from Ohio State’s two-day camp.