Theresa Jackson overcomes injury to reach 1,000 points

SPECIAL TO THE MORNING JOURNAL Western Reserve’s Theresa Jackson, left, reached the 1,000-point milestone during the Roughriders 61-40 victory against South Central.

SPECIAL TO THE MORNING JOURNAL Western Reserve’s Theresa Jackson has 1,001 points, 179 assists and 219 steals for her career.

SPECIAL TO THE MORNING JOURNAL Western Reserve’s Theresa Jackson, left, reached the 1,000-point milestone during the Roughriders 61-40 victory against South Central.

SPECIAL TO THE MORNING JOURNAL Western Reserve’s Theresa Jackson has 1,001 points, 179 assists and 219 steals for her career.

In her 30 years of coaching basketball, Brenda Friend can’t say she’s ever coached a better offensive player than Theresa Jackson.

“Of all the players I think I’ve ever coached she’s got one of the best skill sets offensively,” said Friend, who for the past 11 years has been the head coach at Western Reserve.

Four of those years has been with Jackson, a senior who just last week added her name to the list of 1,000-point scorers for the Roughriders. The milestone came during a 61-40 win over South Central in front of a loud and energetic home crowd that was ready to erupt when it did happen.

“A lot of my friends in the student section ... I heard they were making signs and posters, so that added a little stress,” Jackson said. “There was one that was a countdown and every time I made a basket they’d rip the sheet off.

“Everybody was excited and they were all coming up to me before the game saying, ‘I’m glad you’re here and you’re really deserving for this.’ It was just really sweet.”

Needing just nine points to reach 1,000, Jackson accomplished the feat on a jumper with 1:22 left in the game. Averaging 18 points per game, Jackson was “pretty comfortable” she would get to 1,000 that night, that is until she had to leave the game with a knee injury with 4:30 left in the second quarter.

Jackson got tripped up and fell hard on her right knee. She eventually returned, scoring her first points at the 5:10 mark in the third.

“After I hurt my knee I was like, ‘Oh, no!, is this even going to happen?’” Jackson said.

When it did happen, play was stopped and Friend presented Jackson with the game ball at half court. The announcer had a speech, but with the crowd noise neither Friend or Jackson could hear it.

“When it happened it was relief and just overall happiness for her,” Friend said. “Everybody in that gym was just so happy for her.”

Jackson went over to her parents in the bleachers and gave them the ball, hugged and kissed them, and went back to her team, who finished off South Central to improve to 12-2 overall and 8-0 and in the Firelands Conference.

Jackson, who’s been playing basketball since third grade, missed her first game with that same knee injury in Western Reserve’s next game. For the Roughriders she’s racked up 1,001 points, 179 assists and 219 steals.

Scoring 1,000 points wasn’t always the goal for Jackson. In fact, she said she felt pretty good breaking the assist record before getting her 1,000th point.

“It was there in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t too focused on it until I started getting like really close,” Jackson said. “It just felt good to finally get it because I don’t have to keep worrying, ‘Am I going to get there, am I going to get there’? I wouldn’t have got to 1,000 points without all of my teammates and coaches pushing me.”

Playing varsity since she was a freshman, Jackson is third on Western Reserve’s all-time scoring list. She also plays volleyball and softball. But before she trades in her basketball shoes for a pair of cleats, Jackson is hoping to end her high school basketball career with a deep postseason run — further than last year’s run that ended in the Division III Lexington Regional Semifinal.

Since that 43-36 loss to Centerburg, the Roughriders have been motivated to return to regionals for the third time in the last four years.

And they’re more prepared, too.

“We all got flu shots,” Jackson said with a laugh, “we do not want that again. One of our teammate’s mom’s is a doctor, so we set up appointments.”

Western Reserve is planning another honor for Jackson at Saturday’s home game against New London, in which the milestone ball will have a special inscription on it along with all the signatures of the team.

@PaulBarney18

Last Updated: 1/25/2013 4:21:30 PM EST

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