Jackson savored his time as a professional basketball player

HOGANSVILLE – For Callaway High graduate Reggie Jackson, it was the best of both worlds.

Following a successful stint as a basketball player at Duquesne University, Jackson wanted to continue to play the sport, and the best chance for him to do that was overseas.

So Jackson packed his bags, boarded an international flight, and began what turned into a highly succesful basketball career.

Jackson not only got to keep playing basketball and get paid for it, but he was also able to see parts of the world that he may not have otherwise.

“I’m so fortunate to not only play overseas, but play on some really good clubs, and have a lot of success,” Jackson said. “And just have a chance to just experience different cultures. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.”

Jackson enjoyed a standout prep career at Callaway while playing for head coach Terry Hayes, and he was and remains the school’s all-time leading scorer.

After high school, Jackson played for two seasons at Southern Union College in Alabama before transferring to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

In two seasons at Duquesne, Jackson played in all but one game with 37 starts and was a key contributor.

Jackson was the team’s most accurate 3-pointer shooter, and he was among the team leaders in assists and steals.

After college, the 5-foot-11 Jackson explored his options, and he decided England was the place for him.

Jackson was an instant success in England, and he had a strong 2008-2009 season for the Newcastle Eagles, scoring 12 points per game for a team that won a league championship.

In his second season with the Eagles, which also resulted in a league championship, Jackson averaged 14.5 points and 4.5 assists per game while making 56 percent of his shots, and he was a first-team all-defensive player in the league and a starter in the all-star game.

He didn’t begin the 2010-2011 season with the Eagles, but he ended up joining the team about midway through the season and averaged 21 points per game.

After the 2010-2011 season ended, Jackson went to Portugal to join the FC Porto team, and he enjoyed two successful seasons there.

Following the conclusion of the 2012-2013 season, Jackson suffered an injury while he was playing a pick-up game back home in Hogansville.

Jackson recovered and could have played again in the 2014-2015 season, but he was committed to getting his Future Shepherds organization up and going, so for the time being at least, his time as a professional athlete is at an end.

Jackson played for five seasons in England and Portugal combined, and he said it was “an amazing experience.”

“You get paid for something that I’ve done my whole life, and had so much passion for,” he said. “And also to be on two really good clubs. Over my four, five-year career, I probably won 15 trophies.”

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports

By Kevin Eckleberry

keckleberry@civitasmedia.com