baltimoresun.com

« Davon Usher hitting stride at JUCO in Fla. | Main | Calvert Hall CB Da'Quan Davis raises his stock »

March 2, 2011

Prep school helps Donya Jackson 'a whole lot'

donya-jackson-mercersburg.jpg Since leading Calvert Hall to the Baltimore Catholic League tournament championship one year ago, there have been "no days off" for Donya Jackson.

The 2010 BCL Tournament MVP stepped away from the local spotlight after graduation and packed his bags for a post-grad year at Mercersburg Academy. At the Pennsylvania prep school, Jackson has prepared for a college career at the Naval Academy by improving his academics and his game. Developing into a more potent scorer was a top priority for the two-time BCL Defensive Player of the Year.

“I worked on my offensive game a whole lot because I didn’t want to be one-dimensional,” Jackson said. “I didn’t want to just be a stopper. I wanted to be able to stop someone and make it tough for them [to defend] me on the offensive end. … [Prep school] gave me the opportunity to go ahead and do some more things on the offensive end. It’s helped me a whole lot.”

Blue Storm coach Mark Cubit said Jackson was a college-ready prospect when he enrolled at Mercersburg. It was obvious to Cubit that Jackson received “great coaching” at Calvert Hall, so there wasn’t a ton of skill development that needed to be done.

“He did a fantastic job. He’s a great leader,” Cubit said. “Obviously, he’s a very, very strong defender, and he found his rhythm offensively as well. … He’s got a very nice jump shot. I don’t think that was ever an unknown. He showed up with a very good jump shot. I think what he improved was his ball-handling, [and his] ability to get the jump shot off the ball. I think that was the major difference that we saw throughout the course of the year. He was able to handle the ball a little better.”

Jackson said he averaged around 22 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals for Mercersburg (10-13). The Blue Storm finished their season Feb. 17 with a 73-67 loss to Shenandoah Valley Christian School. Jackson scored a team-high 21 points in the loss.

When it became clear to Jackson that he would need a year of prep school before heading to Annapolis, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound wing came up with a list of goals. Consider most – if not all – of those objectives accomplished.

“As far as basketball goes, I’ve definitely come here and [done] almost exactly what I thought I was going to do,” Jackson said. “I said I was going to come here and improve my game and try to average 20 points. I did that, plus more. I said I was going to come here and try to make my passing better and make my IQ higher on the floor, and I did. As far as academics go, I think I’m doing a great job just keeping up with my studies, [especially with] always being on the road with basketball.”

In addition to basketball and classes, Jackson has been working hard on declamation – a public speaking competition at Mercersburg that is scheduled for Thursday.

“I can’t wait,” Jackson said. “It’s going to be a comedy piece.”

Jackson hasn’t received official notice from the Naval Academy that he’s been admitted, but his grades have been good and he expects that official acceptance to come soon enough. He plans on moving to Annapolis at the end of June to get started on his plebe summer.

Jackson has paid close attention to the Midshipmen (11-19) this season. He’s counting the days until he joins their ranks and helps “take Navy to the next level.”

“Oh man, I can’t wait to get there,” Jackson said. “I’m so excited to get with my team and just start working out. I know [there are] going to be stressful days when I think, ‘Why am I attending this school? Why did I come here?’ But I’m just going to push through because I really think with the class we have coming in, I think we can do some big things athletically.”

Handout photo of Donya Jackson

Posted by Matt Bracken at 2:52 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "n" in the field below:
About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

High school recruiting database
Area high school commitments -- 2009
Area high school commitments -- 2008
Maryland's 2011 football commitments
Maryland's 2010 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2009 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2008 football recruiting class
-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Sign up for FREE local sports alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local sports text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Most Recent Comments

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Photo galleries
Blog updates
Recent updates to baltimoresun.com sports blogs  Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected