There wasn't a seat available as a crowd of students, teachers, friends and family crammed into the guidance classroom at Westerville South High School on Nov. 15 to watch Traevon Jackson sign a letter of intent to play Division I college basketball at the University of Wisconsin.

There wasn't a seat available as a crowd of students, teachers, friends and family crammed into the guidance classroom at Westerville South High School on Nov. 15 to watch Traevon Jackson sign a letter of intent to play Division I college basketball at the University of Wisconsin.

"This is definitely a day that I felt like I worked hard for," said Jackson, a 6-foot-3 guard for the boys basketball team. "I'm happy for my parents as well. I get to go to college because of something I'm good at. It's a blessing."

Jackson is the son of former NBA and Ohio State star Jim Jackson. He chose Wisconsin over other schools because of the rapport he had developed with Badgers coach Bo Ryan.

Wisconsin associate head coach Greg Gard did a lot of the legwork in Wisconsin's recruitment of Jackson. Gard watched Jackson play several times for South and during summer league AAU games. Before last season, Jackson and assistant coach Anthony Calo visited Wisconsin to attend the Wisconsin-Michigan football game. While on campus, they visited Gard and Ryan, who offered Jackson a scholarship.

"Honestly, I wanted to commit right then and there," Jackson said. "I waited until June, but I was glad I went ahead and made the decision."

Between the offer and the verbal commitment, Jackson helped lead South to its first undefeated season. The Wildcats were 20-0 during the regular season, winning the OCC-Cardinal Division title at 14-0. Jackson was the OCC-Cardinal Player of the Year. He averaged 19.6 points, 5.8 assists and 4.1 steals. He was named first-team all-district and second-team all-state.

South eventually finished 22-1 after losing to Marion-Franklin 66-57 in a Division I district semifinal.

Jackson's full potential didn't surface right away. He rarely played as a freshman until the district tournament, when he played heavy minutes at point guard in a district semifinal to lead South to an upset win over top-seeded Northland, which had a roster loaded with Division I college recruits.

Last season, Jackson was South's undisputed leader, a role coach Ed Calo started to see him develop into during the 2008-09 season.

"Anybody that works that hard is putting themselves in a position for success," Calo said. "It's been a process. He's shown tremendous growth every year. I started to believe it was going to happen about halfway through his sophomore year. I believed then that this young man is going to make it happen."

As Calo describes it, Jackson has an all-round game to go with a competitive nature, but his most noticeable skill has been his passing ability.

Even growing up with a father that had a lot of success at basketball's highest level, Jackson didn't fully realize he could be a Division I college player until he received his first recruiting letter his sophomore year from Akron.

"It's a special day for all of us," Calo said. "We take a lot of pride in his accomplishments. It's a lot of accomplishment from a person that's extremely talented. His game and all those accomplishments he's had have been within the team framework. That was a big factor as far as his success is concerned."