Playing college basketball at the Division I level has been a dream of Jacob Davison since he first set foot on the Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High School campus as a freshman in 2012. Davidson will realize his dream next season at Eastern Washington University after recently signing a national letter of intent.
“It’s unbelievable … it’s surreal,” said the 6-foot-4 senior with an emphatic smile on his face after a ceremonial signing was held in the school cafeteria. “That was my main goal my freshman year — to play Division I basketball — and now I’m signing my letter of intent, and it’s unbelievable.”
Davison is the Eagles’ second signee behind Mason Pathing, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward from Melbourne, Australia.
“We’re excited to announce these two fantastic new additions to our basketball family,” Eastern Washington coach Jim Hayford said in a statement posted on the team’s website. “This is a great day for Eastern basketball because we are adding two great, quality young men to our program.”
Although the final signing date for Division I schools isn’t until May 18, Jacobson felt it was in his best interest to sign during the early period (Nov. 11-18) after taking his official visit to Eastern Washington months prior with his father, Brad, and to solely focus on his final year of high school.
“I went up for my official visit and fell in love with the places, the coaches, the team and the school,” Davison said. “I came back and I just wanted to get it over with. I loved the school and didn’t want to wait. I wanted to be able to focus on my senior season and just be the best I can be this year.”
Davison is the third Cantwell player to earn a Division I scholarship in two seasons, joining Balsa Dragovic (Harvard) and Gligorjie Rakocevic (Oregon State) as players who have earned Division I scholarships.
And Coach George Zedan, who’s been at the helm of Cantwell basketball since 2011, couldn’t be happier to see another one of his players further their education and basketball career.
“It’s a great feeling [to see my players earn scholarships],” Zedan said.” [It’s] a really difficult thing to do. Less than [five] percent of high school kids will actually play Division I basketball and earn a scholarship.”
Another great feeling for Zedan was seeing Davison’s progression as a player and as a person on as well as off the court through the years.
“I believe when I first met Jacob, he was about 5-foot-7. … he’s grown to 6-foot-5. That’s how he’s grown physically over the last few years,” Zedan said. “Off the court, just his maturity. He’s become our leader and he’s very vocal. He’s holding other kids accountable whereas his first two years at the school he was very quiet and didn’t have much to say. He just did his job on the court and was definitely not by any stretch a leader that he’s become now.”
As a junior, Davison averaged 13.9 points per game and was the team’s second-leading scorer behind Rakocevic (17 ppg). He was also an All-Del Rey League and Whittier Daily News All-Area Team selection and Cantwell’s offensive player of the year as the Cardinals finished with an overall record of 22-11.
Before the Cardinals take on Palisades High School in the “Rose City Roundball Classic” on Dec. 1 at Maranatha High School in Pasadena, Jacobson has set an array of accolades he would like to accomplish during his last year as a Cardinal.
“I want to be League MVP, First Team All-League,” he said. “I want to win a league [championship] and want to be able to make the open division and win a game. We’ve made it the past two years but haven’t been able to get a win. I want to get a win in the open division this year.”
And with the departure of Dragovic and Rakocevic, Zedan has increased his standout player’s role in his final campaign wearing Cantwell’s cardinal, gold and blue colors.
“He’s our best player, so we’ve held him to a higher standard probably to anybody else on the team,” Zedan said.” He needs to be able to play the entire game, lead us in scoring and maybe be our second leading rebounder and guard the other team’s power forward because we’re undersized. He’s just going to have to be able to help us through things when we’re struggling and be that kind of player who kids kind of lean on.”