FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) –A former player from the old CBA Rockford Lightning is now the head boys basketball coach at Freeport High School Thedford ‘Tee Jay’ Jackson has the job.
Jackson is a 1987 graduate of Bolingbrook High School in Illinois where he played on some great basketball teams. He went on to play college basketball at Indian Hills Community College and at Tennessee-Chattanooga before turning pro and playing with the Lightning and playing oversees.
Jackson his lived in Freeport for more than two decades. He has been an assistant boys basketball coach for the Pretzels for 15 years. Now he gets his chance to be the head guy.
He takes over a Freeport program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2011-12. The Pretzels record in NIC-10 play over the last four seasons is 13-55. Jackson says he knows the identity that he wants his players and program to have.
“I think every coach wants a team that plays hard, but I think our identity as a Freeport Pretzel program is going to be one of respect and a love for the game. That’s something I believe that’s something I want to bring back is a love of the game when you can enjoy playing. It’s a game. Basketball is a game, and you’ve got to enjoy playing it, and that’s what I want it to be. To be able to teach these young men to enjoy the game, to be students of the game and learn the game.”
Jackson replaces Ryan Pierce. Pierce resigned as Freeport’s head coach following the end of last season.
NOTE: Click on the media player to hear much more of my interview with coach Jackson.