DALLAS — Cosha Jackson customarily goes above and beyond to ensure her family is well taken care of.
So much, in fact, that in many instances, Jackson works as many as six days a week.
Still, although working consumes much of her time, Jackson makes certain she bolts her job in time to attend games for her son, Dallas-area amateur basketball player, Kaelen Damon Jackson.
“He started playing in his mama’s backyard at the age of three,” Cosha said during a recent interview. “Not until the age of five he began playing with his first team, (the Beckley Bears).”
Despite being mostly an undersized player ever since he began playing competitive basketball, Kaelen still has proven to hold his own on the court as a marquee player for Dallas’ NorthStars 10-and-under team.
Nicknamed “K-Man,” Kaelon’s key contributions helped steer the NorthStars to an impressive 13-3 mark that was culminated recently with an elusive championship.
“I knew he could do it despite his height. I was and still am a proud mother,” Cosha said her son’s display this past season for the NorthStars.
In assessing her son’s success as a rising athlete, Cosha credits the NorthStars coaching staff for aiding her in ensuring her son goes full throttle, particularly when her job often conflicts with getting him to and from practice.
“I work six days a week,” Cosha said. “Kaelen has great coaches that make sure he gets to practices and to games when I am unable to get him there. But I make sure that I leave work, because I never miss a game. I am my child’s No. 1 fan.”
And never mind that amid the long hours in the workplace, Cosha’s has to swiftly assume another hat — that of the proverbial basketball mom.
“But when I see the enjoyment that my son has when he is on the court, being tired goes out the window,” Cosha said. “I’d do anything for his happiness. That’s what makes me excited. I am overjoyed as a parent. You try to put your kids into activities to keep them busy, and it’s a plus when they excel in that activity.”
A 10-year-old fifth grader at Gateway Charter School, Kaelen assumes the point guard position for a NorthStars team who harbors the motto: “Hard work beat talent if talent fails to work hard.”
For this vibrant, speedy amateur athlete, without question his immense talents on the court have gone virtually unnoticed, a trend he says hopes will afford him to someday repay his mother for the tireless efforts she has invested in him, on and away from the hardwood.
“Because I am good at it,” said Kaelen, when asked why does he love basketball so much. “And I like the feeling I get when I’m on the court. I get excited.”
More than anything, Kaelen acknowledges, looking out into the stands and seeing his mother’s presence is what ultimately fuels his desire to help his peers be successful.
“My mom says I can be anything I want to be,” said Kaelen, explaining the best advice his mother frequently gives him. “I want to play in the NBA when I get older, so she told me to work hard and it will come true.”
However, landing on basketball grandest stage won’t merely come easily, Cosha says often tells her son.
“I always tell Kaelen nothing in life is going to be giving to him,” Cosha said. “You have to work hard to get what you want. The sky’s the limit (for him) because he has dedication. His dream is to play professional basketball. As long as he never gives up on himself, his dream will become a reality. I tell Kaelen, ‘Never put limits on yourself.’ Whatever he set his mind to do, I know Kaelen will achieve it.”
Among the reasons is that his mom demonstrates that daily.
So much for being so exhausted after working long hours.
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson also covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.