Senior guard Jhivvan Jackson has seen a lot of basketball in his time at Trinity. He’s among just a handful of players to ever play four years on the varsity. He played alongside a first-round NBA draft pick in Myles Turner.
But one thing he hasn’t seen is his team celebrate a playoff win. The Trojans have been to the playoffs in each of this three previous years, but have yet to advance in the postseason. He’s hoping to change all that in his final season.
Jackson arrived in Euless from Puerto Rico his seventh-grade year. His brother, Jalen, had arrived the year before. Trinity coach Mark Villines remembers Jhivvan making an immediate impression.
“We saw this little seventh-grader scoring 30 points a game, so we started tracking him,” Villines said.
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By his freshman season, Jackson had shown enough to warrant a call up to the varsity squad. Villines knew Jhivvan could shoot, and with a team boasting a now-Indiana Pacer in Turner, the coach felt like Jackson would get some open looks to take advantage of.
I’m going to do everything I can, every day and every night, to get the win.
- Trinity senior guard Jhivvan Jackson
Injuries afforded Jackson the opportunity to start some games in the Whataburger tournament that fall, and he took full advantage with several outstanding performances. His place on the team was secured.
Now the unquestioned leader of veteran squad, Jackson is hoping to carry his team places Trinity hasn’t been in a long time.
“I’m going to do everything I can, every day and every night, to get the win,” he said.
Jackson, who says his favorite players are Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, spends part of almost every day in the gym, just one of the things Villines says makes him so special.
“It all goes back to the fact he puts tons of extra work in at the gym,” the coach said. “He’s up there with his dad on the weekends sometimes. He’s staying after practice, just shooting and working. It’s a constant cycle you have to go through to be as good as he is.”
Twice already this season Jackson has scored more than 40 points in a game. He’s a prolific scorer, for sure, but Villines points out there’s much more to his game.
“He’s superathletic for being as tall as he is. He’s got the whole package. He can handle it; he can shoot it; he knows how finish at the rim; he knows how to play the game; he knows how to get fouled and he makes his free throws.”
Perhaps most notable to Villines, though, is what he’s seen in Jackson’s intangibles this year.
“I’ve seen him grow, especially with the difficulty we had last year,” he said. “My assistant coach just said it the other day — Jhivvan isn’t the same kid. That makes you feel good because you see he’s maturing and he’s growing up. He’s placed those expectations on his shoulders. You see a lot of things where he’s shown great maturity.”
Jackson has signed to play at UT San Antonio next year. First, though, he has unfinished business at Trinity.
“I feel like we have a really good team and we’re really deep,” he said. “We just need to keep working on our own goals.”