SHELBURNE - “As soon as we all stepped foot on the court for the first time, it felt like a brotherhood,” says Shelburne native Drew Jacklin.
The 18-year-old is one of the talented few to score a spot on the Saint Mary’s University basketball team this year. He's one of four students from Nova Scotia on the Huskies this year, and also one of four first-year rookies to make the team.
Jacklin has always loved the game and has the skills to match his passion, but he says players can’t get on the Saint Mary's team on skill alone.
“Just like any other university, you have to do well academically,” says Jacklin.
He made sure he kept his grades competitive throughout high school with an eye on the prize: playing university-level basketball.
Higher level of play
But, says the six-foot-two guard, it's a big step up from playing at Shelburne Regional High School or for Team Nova Scotia's Under-17 team, which he was named to in the past.
“Playing university ball is a lot different than high school and also harder,” says Jacklin.
But, he adds, it's just a matter of adapting to the faster pace and higher level of play.
So far this year, Saint Mary's has had a strong pre-season, with wins in tournament play against Cape Breton and L'Université du Québec à Montréal at the Eric Garland Tournament in late September, followed up by exhibition wins against Nipissing and Guelph. Losses came at the hands of the University of New Brunswick - also at the Eric Garland Tournament - and in exhibition play to Toronto and McMaster.
Saint Mary's, part of the AUS division, is set to get the regular season underway Nov. 3, when the team faces off against the University of Prince Edward Island for two home games.
Passion for the game
Jacklin mainly plays as a shooting guard but he says he will sometimes interchange to other positions, like most of the players on his team.
“All of my teammates are great guys and I have nothing but respect for every single one,” he says.
He says his family has always been a great support as he pursued his basketball passion.
“My family has been nothing but positive about everything I have done for basketball…lots of respect for my family.”
Jacklin adds that there are so many great things to love about the game.
“Just playing the game you love every day is an awesome feeling,” says Jacklin. “Not just playing the game, but the people you meet.”
Go online: Follow Drew Jacklin’s progress on the Saint Mary’s University athletics website at http://www.smuhuskies.ca/sports/mbkb/index