Lee County's Jackson signs with Guilford

Apr. 30, 2014 @ 05:01 AM

Lee County senior Hunter Jackson signed to attend Guilford College and play basketball for the Quakers on Monday afternoon as his family, coaches and teammates joined him for the signing ceremony.

The Yellow Jackets will be losing a standout guard on the hardwood, a fine student and one of their biggest all-around fans, no matter the sport.

Jackson, a three-year varsity player for head coach Reggie Peace, who himself is a Guilford alum and former player, made Peace's varsity squad as a sophomore but was unsure if he was ready for the promotion from JV.

Peace recalled Jackson asking the coaches if he could play JV one more season.

"I pulled him aside," Peace said, "and I told him, if you come into the gym and work hard, I'll make the decision where you play."

"He did what I asked him to do, which is why he played varsity for three years. That's the kind of worker he is," Peace said.

This past season, as the Yellow Jackets went 19-7 overall, Jackson averaged 10.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.4 steals a game. He earned second-team All-Cape Fear Valley Conference postseason honors.

Jackson's work ethic paid off for Yellow Jacket basketball and in the classroom Peace said.

"To have the opportunity to get a good education is great, and to play basketball at the same time is a plus," Jackson said. "It's certainly going to be a good challenge. It'll be fun to see how it works out."

Jackson and an AAU club teammate will be joining the Quakers together. Guilford's playing style is something Jackson's anxious to join.

"They play up and down. They usually shoot a lot of threes. They're a fast-paced team, so it sounds like a lot of fun," he said.

It's odd for a school to lose one of its best athletes and fans at the same time, but Jackson was the Yellow Jacket mascot at some of the home football games, works in the press box frequently and makes it to every game basketball and studies allow him to.

"It's my senior year, so I've just been trying to do everything I possibly can," he said.

Jackson said he likes supporting his friends on the other Jacket teams and, "I'm just trying to take advantage of all the experiences I can in my senior year."

Jackson, who's planning on majoring in business administration, has earned the opportunity to show his energy and effort, in hoops and more, to Guilford for the next four years.