Competitive Drive: With success on the hardwood, Zach Jackson eyes a shot at the pros

Local Sports

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – On the hardwood, with a basketball in his hands, you can tell it’s a place where Zach Jackson feels at home.

It’s a sport that Jackson started showing interest in at a young age.

“Me and my brother, we had a little tike Fisher Price goal in the basement and we just started gravitating toward that,” said Jackson.

Along the way, Jackson looked up to his big brother, Nathan, as he started to craft his game.

On the floor at Wichita East High School, Jackson found personal and team success with the Blue Aces from 2012 to 2015.

“My senior year, we went 24-1 I think, won the city and won a state championship that year,” said Jackson.

After high school, the one school who pushed to get him was the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

“Omaha was the first school to really start recruiting me and they were the most persistent,” said Jackson.  “Sophomore through senior year I was able to increase my numbers every year.”

He capped off his senior season by averaging 18 points a game.

Now, for Jackson, he’s preparing to take his talents to the next level.

In order to do that, he’s training hard.

“I lift once or twice a day, than get in the gym, and do on court stuff twice a day, so, also go in the pool for conditioning, so it’s a lot of preparation for your body so you can be ready for the opportunity that comes,” said Jackson.

You can find Jackson at Fort Knox Fitness training with the owner, Jordan Knox. 

Along with other NBA hopefuls, like former Southeast High School and Weber State star Jerrick Harden, Jackson is going through a wide range of workouts.

“They are tough, they challenge you physically, but, it’s really just a mental test as well,” said Jackson.

Something he feels will prepare him for whats to come over the next month.

“When you go through these workouts for a team, you just want to be physically there, knowing that once you get tired, you’ll be able to push through and stay mentally focused throughout the test,” said Jackson.

With the 2019 NBA Draft coming up next month, Jackson is both optimistic and realistic.

“I know I’m on the outside looking in, which is fine with me, it’s how it has been my whole career, going to high school and then going to college, being overlooked,” said Jackson.

He’s hoping he’ll get a shot to showcase his talents on a bigger stage.

“Now I have to get ready for workouts at the end of May,” said Jackson.

So far, Jackson says he has had a total of 10 NBA teams reach out about a potential workout with them.

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