Washington welcomes new menmbers to its Walk of Fame

Published 7:11 am Wednesday, October 29, 2008

By Staff
Harold Jackson’s career comes full circle Friday night
By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Harold Jackson’s basketball career started in Washington and has taken him all over the planet, but on Friday it will come full circle as he is inducted into the Pam Pack Walk of Fame.
Jackson played a major role on a Washington team that made it to the state finals in 1971, the quarter finals in ’72, and won back-to-back Conference titles in his junior and senior seasons.
Jackson’s dedication to the game earned him a scholarship, and eventually, a chance to go up against the Harlem Globetrotters on a nightly basis, and now it has earned him a place in Pam Pack history.
While Jackson is modest in his talk, he was aggressive on the court, as the 6-2 shooting guard was a key reserve as a junior on a Washington team that went all the way to the state finals.
Jackson said that playing in the title game was one of the best moments of his Pam Pack career.
As a senior, Jackson helped lead the team back to the playoffs, but with Leggett and Henderson hurt, his team fell by 10 points in the quarter finals to the eventual state champions.
Though he lost in the playoffs, Jackson play would eventually win him a scholarship to UNC-Wilmington.
At 6-2, Jackson was asked to shift from shooting guard to point guard, and with some hard work Jackson developed into an 18 point per game scorer in his senior year. Jackson’s play as a senior led him to be named team MVP.
Not bad for someone who humbly described himself as a role player.
Jackson said the change in position didn’t bother him, because he prepared for the challenge.
Being prepared for an opportunity is a trait that would continue to payoff for Jackson. After graduating from UNC-Wilmington, the health/physical education major turned down an opportunity to attend a pro international basketball camp. Jackson continued to stay in shape and run, until one day he ran into a golden opportunity.
From 1979 to 1982 Jackson played all over the planet, and clashed on the court with Globetrotter legends such as Curly Neel and Twiggy Sanders.
Jackson said he loved the opportunity to play all over, and enjoyed playing in front of fans in Europe, but there was one slight problem.
All his life Jackson had been Jackson has been coached to give 100 percent effort on the court, and cites himself as an ultra-competitor, so playing on a team that was supposed to lose every night wasn’t always easy.
In time, Jackson learned to adapt to his new scenario.
After all his globe trotting, Jackson came back home to North Carolina and resumed his teaching career.
Jackson’s dedication doesn’t only apply to basketball, the former hoops’ star is a staunch family man. Jackson has been married to his wife Martha for 23 years, and has three children. At 22-years-old, Anna is his eldest daughter and is followed by her brother Richard, who is 20, and Sarah, who is 10.
Pam Pack honors 1988 track and field team
By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Washington fans may have had a hard time watching the 1988 girls track. With all that speed it must have just looked like a blue and white blur.
While nobody could catch up to them then, 20 years later that blue and white flash has finally been captured and will be put on display for all to see.
On Friday, Washington High School will cement the 1988 track and field team’s place in history, literally, as that team has earned a spot on the Washington Walk of Fame.
The Pam Pack team was led by coach William O’Pharrow, who was enshrined into Pam Pack lure in 2006 because of his athletic achievements in football and track.
O’Pharrow said the key to the 1988 squad’s success was its unity and dedication to the sport.
Latonya Hall was just one of the team’s 50 or so stars, but hers always seem to shine the brightest.
The team went undefeated up until the state competition, where it lost by a half point. O’Pharrow said that aside from Hall, there were several key contributors.
It’s not often that a coach can predict greatness before a season, but O’Pharrow said he new this team was going to be special at the start of the year.
With so much talent on one roster, it can be hard to keep athletes motivated for each meet, but O’Pharrow found ways to navigate past that.
With so many events taking place at once, it can be hard to keep tabs on who is doing what, but O’Pharrow said that when one particular athlete was set to compete, he had to stop what he was doing and watch.