PBA: Meralco's trust has helped take pressure off from rookie Trevis Jackson
Santino Honasan on Jan 10, 2019 10:46 AM
"The coaching staff, they told me that they wanted me to play how I play. Of course they’ll lead me and help me mold with the team, but they want me to do what I do, so that doesn’t put too much pressure, it actually takes pressure off me and it allows me to trust in my game and do what I’ve done my whole life," - Trevis Jackson
Transitioning into a new environment isn't always the easiest thing in the world, especially for people like, say, rookies who are trying to adjust into the professional ranks.
While it's almost always a tough period for most first-year players, there are a fortunate few, like number-five overall pick Trevis Jackson, who says he's been fitting in nicely with his new teammates over at Meralco.
The Bolts took Jackson as their first pick in the 2018 PBA Draft, and the playmaker out of Sacramento State says that they've been nothing but welcoming.
"It’s been awesome, just adjusting to everything, it’s been nice because all the veterans have lent a helping hand, so it’s made my adjustment easier and a lot smoother," Jackson shared with ABS-CBN Sports. "I feel as if I fit in fine. Like I said, everyone’s just done a great job taking me in, and I don’t ever feel alone, and that’s the best part, is that I don’t feel like I’m going through anything alone."
"It doesn’t matter who it is, everyone just kind of picks me up, they show me the drill, and they let me learn on my own as well, it’s not like they’re holding my hand through everything, and the coaching staff, they trust me so it gives me a lot of confidence," he continued.
Among those vets, Jackson shared that it was star guard Chris Newsome who's become somewhat a mentor to him, and it goes back to even before the draft.
"After my first workout here, Chris just took me under his wing and showed me the ropes and helped me relax," he said.
The biggest thing with Meralco, Jackson says, is that the coaching staff has shown him a lot of trust, which in turn has helped build up his confidence.
Jackson will be joining a loaded Bolts frontcourt that features the likes of Newsome, Baser Amer, Mike Tolomia, and Anjo Caram just to name a few. Already, Jackson says that Meralco is just letting him play his style of basketball.
"The coaching staff, they told me that they wanted me to play how I play. Of course they’ll lead me and help me mold with the team, but they want me to do what I do, so that doesn’t put too much pressure, it actually takes pressure off me and it allows me to trust in my game and do what I’ve done my whole life," he explained. "I’ve trained for this, and like I said, my confidence lies in the preparation, that’s where I put all my trust. I put it also in my teammates and the fact that they believe in me, it takes all those expectations off my back."
Speaking of expectations and pressure, the five-foot-eleven playmaker believes that he has less of that on his back, as compared to the bigger names in the draft.
Jackson was a relative unknown in a draft class that featured the likes of CJ Perez, Bobby Ray Parks, Robert Bolick, and Paul Desiderio, all of whom have established names for themselves in the collegiate ranks.
"I would say [that it was less pressure], because almost everyday, the cameras were in those guys’ faces, and it allowed me to sit in the back and just feel it out and be comfortable. Yeah it just allowed me to remain calm, never too high, never too low. That’s how I like to think of it."
Now, it's on him to prove that Meralco did right by picking him fifth.
"I guess everyone’s just waiting to see if I can live up to it. I’m ready to prove myself. Like I said, these guys give me a lot of confidence in my game, that helps."
Jackson, whose Filipino roots can be traced back to Siquijor, is a few days away from realizing a dream that he's had since the first time he ever dribbled a basketball, and he could not be any more excited.
"Man, I can’t even describe that feeling. Being a professional basketball player is something I’ve dreamed of since I was four years old. I know that before that ball goes up, I already know there’s going to be butterflies and all that, but once that ball goes up and we’re in between the lines, the killer turns on, you gotta flip the switch, it’s game time."
"I understand that I could be nervous, it’s my rookie year but that’s not how I’m looking at it. I’m looking at it like my team trusts me to do certain things, and that’s what I need to do," he added.