Pro basketball player leads camp in Bradford

By Gaylen Blosser

July 2, 2014

BRADFORD – Professional basketball player Amanda Jackson displayed her passion of basketball and love for kids by hosting a basketball camp Saturday at Bradford High School, sharing her experiences of life and knowledge of basketball.

Jackson, a 5-foot 10-inch guard and swingman, played her high school basketball at Springfield South.

Miami University’s all-time leading scorer, Jackson earned all-Mid-American Conference first team honors in 2006-07, was a four-time MAC East Player of the Week during the 2006-07 season and was named to the MAC all-freshman team in 2003-04.

When asked if it was true she did not charge for her day in Bradford, Jackson said, “Yes, it’s true. I love the kids. I have a passion to pour in the knowledge that I have into them and to give back. It’s just an incredible feeling and a blessing to be able to do so.

“I got an opportunity to meet (Bradford girls basketball) coach (Patrick) McKee last year,” Jackson said. “One of his kids, Michayla (Barga), had come to Springfield, and I was able to work with her about two hours. She liked what I had to offer, and she invited me to come to Bradford, so coach McKee and I linked up and I came here.”

“Last summer Michayla Barga played AAU in Dayton, and Amanda (Jackson) came in and worked with her AAU team,” McKee said. “ Michayla came back and said, ‘coach, this girl came in, and she is awesome, really works well with the kids, and she’s just a good basketball person, she’s a good person in general, and said ‘here’s her number. You should give her a call and maybe she can come here some time.’

“I followed up with it, and we talked quite a bit,” McKee said. “Last year she came in and just to work out with our team. This year we kind of wanted to open it up and offer it to anyone that wanted to be a part of it.”

“It’s incredible how well he (coach McKee) has poured his knowledge into them (Bradford girls), how disciplined they are and how hard they work,” Jackson said. “It’s incredible.”

“It’s fun to come in here and coach kids who listen, who pay attention and who gives 100 percent to you,” Jackson said. “That’s easy. It makes your job easy to coach with him.

“We corresponded back and forth. Coach McKee sent me a picture of when they won,” Jackson said. “I was so happy for them, just to have a small touch in it and to be able to meet the players.

“I was so excited for them and very happy to hear that the hard work in the summer paid off,” Jackson added. “To bring a (sectional) championship here to Bradford High, it’s definitely amazing.”

“Amanda packs a lot in two hours on the court,” McKee said. “She came to me before we started today and said ‘what do you want to do?’ I said, ‘I trust you with whatever you want to do and don’t be afraid to challenge them. They are coachable kids.’

“She covers a lot, but she does it in a way that kids are able to obtain it,” McKee added.

“I would like to thank Amanda and everyone she brought to Bradford, spending the day with the kids and working on basketball,” an appreciative coach McKee said.