SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Former Wofford forward Cameron Jackson will begin his professional basketball career in Germany, signing recently as an undrafted free agent with the Mitteldeutscher Basketball Club.
Standing at 6-foot-8, Jackson averaged 14.5 points to go with a team-high 7.6 rebounds per game as a senior to help lift the Terriers to their first Associated Press Top 25 ranking in program history. In addition to grabbing the 2018-19 regular-season and Southern Conference tournament championships, Jackson powered Wofford to its first win in NCAA Tournament history, scoring 14 points and collecting 10 rebounds in the 84-68 victory over Seton Hall. A native of Winchester, Virginia, Jackson started all 35 games for Wofford, scoring double figures 32 times with seven double-doubles en route to being named First Team All-SoCon after the Terriers went 18-0 in SoCon play, adding three victories in the SoCon tournament to claim the league's highest seed (No. 7) since 1979. The 2018-19 season also marked the first time since 2014-15, when Jackson was a freshman, that Wofford won both the regular season and conference tournament championships in the same year.
For his career, Jackson ranks first at Wofford with 138 games played, third with 125 blocks, sixth with a field goal percentage of .583, sixth with 168 steals and 19 th on the all-time scoring list, totaling 1,399 points in a Terrier uniform.
Mitteldeutscher BC competes in the Basketball Bundesliga, which is Germany's first tier league featuring teams such as Bayern Munich.
Jackson, who graduated from Wofford in May, has a lion tattooed on his shoulder. It’s intimidating on the court. “The lion symbolizes strength, leadership, courage and family. They’re traits I value and aspects of life that are really important to me,” explains Jackson, who has shown those traits through his actions as well as his ink.
The Wofford team will miss the Winchester, Va., native, but so will the campus community, especially those in his major department of environmental studies. Jackson chose environmental studies in part because he grew up fishing and eating the fish in Virginia’s Shenandoah River.
“For a while, we couldn’t do that because of the high mercury content. It sparked an interest,” he says.
Jackson also chose environmental studies because it offered lots of time in the field, something he says rejuvenates him. While he was injured during his sophomore year and unable to be active, he learned that writing poetry does the same. Still, nothing brings Jackson back to center like being on the court.
“Basketball calms me,” he says. “There’s nothing like being in an empty gym when I’m stressed or in a weird spot. That time helps me work through stuff.
“I don’t feel like I’m finished yet,” he continues. “There’s still nothing like preparing then playing well in front of a big crowd, finding a way to win like we did against ETSU or Seton Hall. All the collective and individual work comes together, and it’s cool to see the results.”
Although basketball has always been the plan, Jackson sees the sport as a vehicle, not a destination.
“It will take me to new places and allow me to experience life in new ways,” he says. “I’m literally going to be paid to workout, take care of my body, do what I love and see the world.”
Wofford has been an integral part of Jackson’s journey, thanks largely to his mom, Danielle Jackson.
According to Jackson, there were lots of little connections to Wofford, and his mom was big on the connections.
“My family has been great. They were always supportive of me. My mom, in particular, wanted me to think big picture. Now I see why,” he says.
Part of that big picture was being surrounded by players and coaches who would become family.
“The camaraderie bred our success,” he says. As an example, Jackson talks about how the team would play HORSE during shoot-arounds before practice or games. “They were little games you play as a kid and were fun, but they bred that competitive spirit. You’d shoot more after practice if you got your butt kicked in HORSE before.”