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Marietta’s Graham a perimeter sharpshooter

Photo by Jordan Holland Marietta’s Jackson Graham is a standout athlete for the Tigers’ soccer and basketball teams.

Jackson Graham

Marietta High

Year: senior

Nickname: Gator, Jack

Age: 17

GPA: 3.0 GPA

Favorite subject: history

Sports: Basketball, soccer

Hgt.: 6-foot-1

College: Ohio University

Major: undecided

Family: Aaron (father) and Lynn Graham (mother); Addie Graham (sister) and A.J. Graham (brother)

Question: What about playing basketball or soccer at the collegiate level?

Answer: (Laughs) I think it’s about time that I hang it up. I’m just going to go to OU and focus on my studies, probably.

Q: So, what’s your favorite sport?

A: Umm…I don’t know. It’s hard to pick. I think I’m a lot better at basketball, but people around soccer made it a much better atmosphere. I really enjoyed soccer this season. But basketball’s great, too.

Q: Which sport have you played the longest?

A: Basketball. I’ve played basketball my whole life. I played soccer when I was younger for maybe six or eight years, and then I came back my junior year and had a lot of fun.

Q: Who got you started in basketball?

A: My parents. My mom was always basketball, and my dad baseball. But I didn’t like baseball that much.

Q: Have you always been a good shooter?

A: (Smiles) I think I got…I wasn’t very good back then, but then I practiced a lot.

Q: In basketball, you’re more offensive-minded, but in soccer, you were a defender. Have you always been a defender?

A: When I played soccer long ago, I was like a winger. Then, I went to goalie.

Q: Really, a goalie?

A: (Laughs) Yeah, I played goalie a little bit. Then, I quit, and came back — and I was a defender.

Q: Since we’re on the subject of soccer. Marietta had a tremendous season last fall….

A: (Smiles) We worked really hard over the summer. We always put in the work in the offseason, and the defense was fine. And, with everyone scoring, it made us more confident. There was a little bit of pressure, because we (defense) wanted to get a clean sheet.

Q: Offensively, Marietta’s defenders even got in on the scoring act?

A: I think I scored two this season. (Smiles) I have a video of one I like.

Q: This winter, one of your Tiger teammates is A.J. What’s it like playing with your younger brother?

A: It’s fun, but it can be frustrating since he’s a sibling. I’ve always played with him in the backyard and everything.

Q: Does he play soccer?

A: No. He’s a golfer.

Q: Looks like the Tigers are peaking at about the right time?

A: Y’know, at first, we were just trying to find who we really were. And then, once we did that, we were able to win games. We hit a little bit of a slump, because everyone was sick. But now, we’re feeling a lot better and hopefully we make a big run in the tournament.

Q: What’s your single-game high point-wise?

A: Against Zanesville (Dec. 20, 2019, at Sutton Gymnasium) when I had that 17-point quarter (and finished with 24 points). It was probably one of best moments of basketball for me.

Q: Who’s inspired or helped you in your development as a student-athlete?

A: Probably Josh McKitrick. He was my basketball coach in the eighth grade. He’s just been a great coach, and a great person to look up to.

Q: What do you do off the playing fields? Any hobbies?

A: Listen to music, hiking, and just being outside.

Q: Who’s your favorite recording artist?

A: (Smiles) The Smashing Pumpkins. I saw them in a concert up in Cuyahoga Falls, and loved it.

Q: Anything you’d like to shout out?

A: I’d like to shout out to my sister (Addie). She’s always been there. She’s the nicest person ever. And, she’s the sweetest girl I’ve ever met.

Ron Johnston can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com

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