Athlete of the Issue: Jackson Wegener

Chris Berg, Staff Writer

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For many, sports can be a fun extracurricular activity. But for a select few, they are a way of life. That is the case for Jackson Wegener ‘15. Since he was three years old, basketball has been his favorite pastime. “Ball is life, that sort of sums it all up right there,” Wegener said.
While other sports have fluctuated in and out of his life, basketball has been constant. “Some of my best childhood memories are playing CYO basketball with my friends,” he said. Today, Wegener is a captain, and the leading scorer out of the returning players of this year’s Miramonte men’s basketball team.
As a freshman, he accomplished the impressive feat of making the varsity team, something that not many players have done. “It was challenging at first, playing with guys four years older than me, but after a while, I got adjusted and it helped me improve tremendously,” he said.
Each subsequent year, Wegener has improved in every aspect of his game. He went from scoring two points per game as a freshman to seven points per game as a sophomore to 11 points per game last year as a junior. In addition, Wegener has focused on improving his defensive game, and last year was in charge of guarding the opponent’s best player. “We have had some very good players in our league, so it is a big job, but somebody’s got to do it,” he said.
Last year, Wegener was a major contributor to the Mats’ run in the CIF playoffs. In the state playoff game against Burlingame, with the game tied 76-76 and two seconds left, Wegener made two clutch free throws to give the Mats a 78-76 victory. “We were huge underdogs in that game, so it was awesome to win like that,” he said.
Wegener also mentioned the home game against Campolindo in which the Matadors were losing by a large deficit, but came back to win at the last second, as one of his favorite moments of his career.
All of Wegener’s success has not come easily. He practices for many hours a day, practicing both shooting drills and conditioning drills. In addition, he plays for an AAU team in the offseason to stay in good form. “I don’t take many days off. In order to be successful, you have to be willing to put in the hours, even when they aren’t fun. If I even take a couple days off, my shot is off and I feel sluggish, so I don’t let that happen,” he said.

This year, Wegener hopes to lead the Mats back to the NCS and CIF playoffs, and wants to improve off last year’s results. “This is my last year, so I’m going to leave it all out on the floor,” he said.

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