By Jeffery Armstrong
Drucilla Jackson of Morrow High School said she has worked hard since middle school to get the chance to play college basketball.
Jackson's hard work was rewarded Tuesday afternoon as she signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Albany State University this fall.
Jackson thanked her friends, family, coaches and school administrators in attendance for supporting her through the years. She is looking forward to attending Albany State.
"I'm excited," she said. "I played for all these years and the hard work has finally paid off. It's also good to know that my parents' hard work wasn't for nothing."
Jackson's older sister, Regina Barber, was excited that her sister obtained a scholarship.
"She's done an awesome job here at Morrow playing basketball," Barber said. "I'm really glad for Dru."
Jackson, who was recruited by Lane, Paine College, Morgan State and a host of others, said she chose Albany State in part because it is an historically black college. She also liked the atmosphere on the campus and the friendliness of the coaching staff. She's confident she will get plenty of playing time as a freshman, although she's not sure if she'll start.
"I plan to work my way into the starting lineup as soon as possible," Jackson said.
Morrow girls head basketball coach Yolanda Jenkins said she is very proud of Jackson.
"She deserved it; Drucilla definitely put the work in," said Jenkins, an Albany native. "She should do well next year."
Jenkins believes Jackson has improved each year she's been on the varsity, but also said she can do even better.
"I really believe Drucilla hasn't reached her full peak yet," Jenkins said.
"She's going to another level now and if she works hard enough, she'll definitely be a successful college basketball player."
Jackson's teammates at Morrow, Indya Floyd and Kirby Copeland, were glad that Jackson was able to sign at Albany State.
"I'm very proud of Dru and I wish her much success," said Copeland, who will play college basketball at Virginia Tech this fall. "She just needs to stay focused and not party a whole lot."
Floyd expects Jackson to play well at Albany State.
"If the coaching staff pushes her hard, she'll do very well," said Floyd.
"She'll fit in well away from home because she is a people person."
Morrow principal Dr. Morris Blasingame was happy for Jackson, one of his favorite students. Blasingame described Jackson, a two-year starter on the varsity, as an excellent student and athlete.
"She didn't go to my alma mater, Fort Valley State, but I forgive her for that," he said, laughing.
"I'm happy to see her headed to Albany State."