Even with a disappointing end to his sophomore season, Hobart and William Smith’s sophomore power forward Jackson Meshanic ’18 continues to put in the work on and off the court.
Meshanic attended the KO Upper School for three years after attending E.O. Smith High School in Storrs for his freshman year. Up until his senior year, Meshanic played football, basketball, and baseball. During his senior year, he decided to solely focus on basketball. “I greatly enjoyed my time with my secondary sports,” Meshanic said, “but obviously I wanted to focus on basketball.” Throughout his basketball career at KO, Meshanic primarily played as a forward. “I was the only forward on a team of guards,” Meshanic said, “but I loved my teammates and coaches.”
While Meshanic attends Hobart and William Smith College, this year he has decided to take a gap year and work full time. Hobart is a Division III school located in Geneva, N.Y. Meshanic started the recruitment process the summer before his senior year. Many college coaches reached out to him in an attempt to recruit him, yet Hobart stood out the most. “I did my research,” Meshanic said. “I made my decision by Thanksgiving.”
Meshanic said the transition from high school to college went very smoothly for him. “It was nice to be on a sports team because you instantly have 12-15 friends,” he said. He went on to say that Hobart is very similar to KO since it is a small school, and everyone is very friendly and knows one another. “I wanted to pick a school that I would like to be at even if I wasn’t participating in athletics,” Meshanic said. “With Hobart, I felt that if I were to have a career-ending injury, I would be able to find other areas of my college career to excel at.” In the end, Meshanic felt that Hobart fit those credentials the best.
During his first year at Hobart, Meshanic quickly saw how big of a time commitment college sports can be. Off-season practices consisted of lifting at least two to three times a week as well as individual work and informal captains’ practices. During the regular season, practice is six days a week on top of lifting at least two to three times a week. When the season starts, the team plays every weekend and travels every other weekend. “We sometimes miss some classes on Fridays,” Meshanic said, “which can be tough if you fall behind.” During his first two seasons, Meshanic played the majority of his minutes at power forward. In the next two years, however, Meshanic plans to transition to playing center. Meshanic says the team has great chemistry and loves to play. “I am truly friends with everyone on the team at Hobart,” he said.
In their most recent season, Hobart ended up making it to the NCAA Sweet 16. “We were in Virginia for it when our season was canceled,” Meshanic said. “Obviously it was very disappointing.” Nevertheless, Meshanic was extremely proud of how his team played last year, and the playoff run they had before the season was abruptly canceled due to the pandemic.
As for the rest of his college career, Meshanic plans to continue his education at Hobart starting next year. Currently, he is taking a gap year working full time as a permanent substitute teacher at E.O. Smith High School. When he returns to college, he plans to graduate with a degree in clinical psychology. After graduating, Meshanic wants to continue his education in graduate school, where he hopes to become an assistant coach for the basketball team. Overall, Meshanic is eager to get back to Hobart and his teammates once it is safe to do so and his past seasons are only a tiny prediction of what’s yet to come.