Tayla Jackson (right) and Sydney Williams helped B.C. win bronze at the U17 Canadian national championships this past summer. Jackson has been invited to Toronto next week for a U17 Canada Basketball assessment camp.

Tayla Jackson (right) and Sydney Williams helped B.C. win bronze at the U17 Canadian national championships this past summer. Jackson has been invited to Toronto next week for a U17 Canada Basketball assessment camp.

Brookswood’s Jackson catches eye of Canada Basketball

Langley's Tayla Jackson is among the 25 players from across the country trying out for the national U17 team

Tayla Jackson may have garnered herself an invite to Canada Basketball’s national age-group assessment camp, but she knows there is still work to be done.

“Nothing is ever handed to you,” she said.

“You don’t know what the outcome is going to be but you just have to work hard and persevere.”

The 15-year-old Jackson was among the 25 invitees for the camp, which runs Dec. 18 to 22 at Toronto’s Humber College.

The camp is for U16 (born 1997 or later) players from across the country.

The team will be on the court for three days and the assessment camp is part of the ongoing process in identifying which players will be chosen for the U16 women’s summer national team program.

That team will compete at the FIBA Americans U16 championship this summer. Canada needs a top four finish to qualify for the 2014 FIBA U17 world championship.

The six-foot-two Jackson, a Grade 10 student at Brookswood, is comfortable playing either the post of power forward position and is in her third season with the Bobcats senior team, having played at the Grade 11/12 level since Grade 8.

“I knew if I worked hard, it would pay off,” Jackson said about earning the invitation.

“It is really exciting and a great opportunity.

“It is still a process, but it is nice to even be invited.”

But she knows it won’t be easy.

Following her Brookswood team’s weekend tournament in Victoria, Jackson is scheduled to travel to Toronto on Monday (Dec. 17) for three days of what figures to be a pretty intense camp.

“It is going to be tiring, but it is worth it,” she said.

“You don’t know what the outcome is going to be, but you just want to leave the gym knowing you have tried your best.

“If it’s not good enough (to make the team), I just have to live with it.”

Jackson has played on B.C. provincial teams in the past, including this last summer where she helped the team win bronze at the U17 Canadian national championships.