White Hall High School basketball coach Marc Stringer speaks about ZaVion Jackson as if he is a proud family member. Jackson signed his letter of intent last Friday to further his basketball career at Eastern Oklahoma State University with his family and Stringer at his side.

Jackson is the first signee in Stringer’s eight years of coaching at White Hall High School, which makes him even more special, the coach said.

“If you had asked me when he was in ninth grade, I would have said there was no way he would play college ball,” Stringer said. “But he has turned out to be one of those kids that I have seen grow, and you learn to love him and learn what makes him go.

“Seeing him mature over the last years, you don’t really want to see him leave, but you are happy you can be a part of his journey.”

Jackson said he feels that Eastern Oklahoma is a good fit for him.

"The recruiting process was a little confusing at first, but I know Eastern Oklahoma is the right school for me," Jackson said. "The way my coaches would always talk about it, it made me start to like it even more.”

Stringer agreed.

 "It's been a long three years, but I'm very proud of Zavion," Stringer said. "He's really been an asset to the program, and he's definitely helped me become a better coach as far as patience. This is my eighth season of coaching, and he is the first one to ever sign to play collegiate ball under me, so that's something to be proud of. He is going to an excellent program."

The White Hall senior had averages of 19.2 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks per game during this past season.

 Jackson plans to improve in college as he says farewell to his high school career.

 "I've improved on running and hustling throughout the season," Jackson said. "The goal is to get bigger and stay in the gym. Basically, just keep getting better every day. Coach Stringer has helped me improve on many things. He's always told me to keep pushing and keep fighting, just like he fought cancer. I'm going to miss him, the fans, the team, and the whole White Hall community. They've supported me from day one, and I have nothing but love for them."

Stringer said that Jackson has “probably been my most consistent player. He is a kid that I haven’t had to teach hustle to. Sometimes you have to teach a kid what effort is. He comes every night for a game, and that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about. He will always play hard.”