WHAT A STORY: CHARLES JACKSON OF LASSEN COLLEGE
Charles Jackson is one of those stories we all love to hear about. He barely played high school basketball at Grant High School in Sacramento due to being a late developer. In 2011, Charles Jackson was a mere 6’5” and 170 pounds soaking wet who couldn’t dunk the basketball. Fast forward to present day, and Charles Jackson just completed his freshman year, earning MVP of the Golden Valley Conference at Lassen College standing at 6’9” 220 pounds and dunks at every opportunity. He also earned All-State as a freshman and is on the radar of dozens of NCAA I programs for the upcoming 2013-14 year.
From Lassen College coach Devin Aye, “When I first saw Charles, he was all arms and legs. He wasn’t coordinated enough to dunk, and he wasn’t ready to play college basketball. “ Charles sat out his first year of college at Chabot College in Hayward, CA where he developed a relationship with his assistant coach at the time at Chabot, Devin Aye. In April of 2012 coach Devin Aye was offered the head coaching position at Lassen College in Susanville, CA. “I didn’t want to steal Charles away from Chabot College and my father (Denny Aye is the head coach at Chabot College), but Charles called me one day and expressed interest in coming up here with me. My father and I both agreed it was in Charles’ best interest for him to get away from the city and come up here where he can focus on school.”
This is where the story begins…. Charles Jackson made the move up to the mountains to attend school at Lassen College. “I remember the day Charles and Leroy Anderson (another story worth telling) arrived up here in Susanville. Charles got out of his Dad’s SUV with his big smile, and he all of a sudden was 6’9” and put on about 30 pounds.” Charles struggled to adjust to the college life while at Chabot College and matured a lot in that one year in Hayward. In his first semester at Lassen College he passed all of his classes and is on his way to getting his AA degree in 2014.
Coach Devin Aye took over a program at Lassen College that had only won 1 game the previous season. Aye admits he had high hopes for the season, but didn’t know what to expect from his post play. “Our first tournament we went to San Jose for the tipoff tourney and I remember telling myself that if my post play can just play even with the other team we will be ok this year.“ As you can imagine, the post play was better than Aye expected. “Charles absolutely dominated! He went up against D1 post players each of those 3 games and started the season averaging 17 points and 14 rebounds. His energy, passion and being the ultimate teammate made him so enjoyable to be around on a daily basis. He had 3 dunks each game and played with a chip on his shoulder.” The season went on, and Charles eventually finished the year with quite a resume. Lassen College won the Golden Valley Conference and finished with a 23-9 overall record. Charles Jackson was selected as the MVP of the GVC, and was also ALL-STATE. Jackson led the state in rebounding as a freshman with a total of 366 rebounds to his name. And had a state line of 12.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, 61% FG’s and 2.6 blocks per game.
With such an unbelievable first year under his belt, things are looking up for Jackson next year. “I absolutely LOVE this kid! He has made me so proud both on and off the court. Calls are coming in on him from PAC-12, WAC, Mountain West among others, and if Charles stays the course he will have an unreal future. He is the centerpiece of our program here at Lassen College, and has become a hell of an athlete. I have been spoiled to begin my coaching career with a young man like Charles. It is a scary thought to think of coaching without him in the future.“ Who knows, maybe after the summer Charles Jackson could be 7’0” and gained another 30 pounds?? Congratulations to Charles Jackson on making the best of his opportunity at Lassen College! Scouts and coaches will for sure be making those trips to Susanville to catch a glimpse of this prospect in 2013-14.