Truman State alumnus Seth Jackson, a former Truman men’s basketball guard, signed a one-year deal to play professionally with BC Balkan in Bulgaria on Monday. After months of job insecurity, Jackson came to terms with the club to continue his career in the Balkan International Basketball League.
As a senior, Jackson was third in career points and leading the GLVC in scoring with 22.3 points per game. He was a first-team All-GLVC selection and second-team Daktronics All-Midwest region performer, according to trumanbulldogs.com. Following his senior season, Jackson says he talked with his coaching staff about the possibility of playing overseas. After signing with an agent during June, the process of finding a place to play was out of his control.
“It’s a lot of uncertainty. You’re just waiting around and hoping you get a phone call,” Jackson says. “It was tough for me because we were anticipating that I would sign a month and a half ago.”
Jackson says doubt started to creep in after deals weren’t coming in as quickly as he hoped. Although he says German teams were the first to contact him during early July and Slovenian clubs showed interest, no offers came in.
Jackson says he had only been in contact with BC Balkan for four days before signing, but had to remain in shape despite the ambiguity of his future.
“It was definitely a really big mental test for me, but that’s how this business goes,” Jackson says. “Things happen fast.”
Chris Foster, Truman men’s basketball head coach, says Jackson has prepared well for his professional career.
“I know how much Seth likes basketball and how hard he’s worked at it during his time here,” Foster says. “[Truman assistant] coach Nik [Koprivica] has been huge in helping him, being from there and having some connections.”
Jackson is the second Bulldog to go on to play professionally during the past two years, after alumnus Mike Carlson signed with CB Clavijo in Spain during 2014. Foster says getting to play at the next level is a tribute to their work ethic that allowed them to get to the next level.
“It’s just a credit to how hard those guys have worked,” Foster says. “I’m happy they’ve got an opportunity to continue doing something they love and also leave here with a really good degree.”
Jackson reported to Bulgaria on Sept. 24, with preseason games beginning as soon as next Monday.