Brookswood Bobcats' Tayla Jackson played on the senior girls basketball team every year since Grade 8, helping her team win two titles, finish second once as well as a pair of fourth-place finishes.

Brookswood Bobcats' Tayla Jackson played on the senior girls basketball team every year since Grade 8, helping her team win two titles, finish second once as well as a pair of fourth-place finishes.

The transformation of Tayla

Brookswood's Tayla Jackson has had a remarkable five-year run with the Bobcats senior girls basketball program

  • Apr. 17, 2015 10:00 a.m.

A story from Grade 8 illustrates the confidence of Tayla Jackson.

The way Neil Brown tells it, Jackson — who was playing senior girls basketball despite being just 13-year-old — informed one of the province’s best players, W.J. Mouat’s Kayli Satori, that there was “a new sheriff in town.”

Jackson’s version differs slightly.

“I didn’t exactly say those words,” said Jackson, now a Grade 12 student at Brookswood Secondary.

“It was perceived different than how I intended.”

“(Kayli) was so good and we were playing in a game, standing next to each other during a free throw,” Jackson explained.

“It came across bad. I didn’t mean to come across as a cocky Grade 8; it was more that I looked up to her, I wanted to be like her and as good as she was when I was her age.”

That year, Satori was named the most valuable player as the Hawks won the B.C. provincial 3A senior girls championship title.

While some may play senior basketball a year early in Grade 10, Jackson has done so since she first walked the halls at Brookswood.

“Her height was the biggest thing,” Brown recalled about the decision to play up at such an early age.

“She was a tall, confident kid. Most young kids who are tall are not confident; they don’t want to be tall but she embraced being tall.”

While Jackson had height, she was still raw.

“I didn’t have a ton of skills,” she said. “I think I was more star struck, to be honest.

“You are used to playing with 12- and 13-year-olds who are scrawny, just like you. And all of a sudden, you are playing with these 18-year-olds; you are blown away by the gap and the jump you have made.”

Jackson did not dominate the competition.

“I got pushed around a little bit,” she admitted.

“You have to toughen up and step up to the plate.”

The following year, she became more aggressive on the court and in Grade 10, she really came into her own.

“I became that person that not a lot of people wanted to guard,” she said.

“A little bit more beast-like.

“I started to get more aggressive and the more aggressive I got, the more I loved it.”

“Some people bust their ass and by Grade 10, what you see is what you get,” Brown said.

“Tayla has never maxed out her potential.

“Every year, she got better and better.”

In Jackson’s five years with the Bobcats — and even in the early years, she played a contributing role — the team has made the provincial tournament semifinals each season.

Brookswood was fourth in her Grade 8 and 9 seasons and lost in the championship final in Grade 10. But the team has won back-to-back provincial championships in each of the last two seasons with Jackson earning first team all-star awards both times.

In both instances — the finals in 2014 and the semifinals in 2015 — Jackson was matched up in the post against Oak Bay’s Lauren Yearwood, a member of Basketball Canada’s national cadet team program.

Brown told Jackson that is she could play Yearwood to a standstill, the ’Cats would prevail.

And both times Jackson had done better, out-playing her.

“Huge, huge numbers in the biggest games of the year,” the coach said.

In the 2014 title game, Jackson was player of the game with 20 points, 23 rebounds and two blocked shots. Yearwood had 20 points and nine blocks but just nine rebounds.

And this year, Jackson’s stat line read 16 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks compared to Yearwood’s 10, nine and one.

With Jackson’s high school career now done — she is off on an athletic scholarship to the University of California Irvine next season to play NCAA Division 1 — she will suit up on Sunday at the B.C. high school senior girls all-star game at the Langley Events Centre. Game time is 3 p.m.

Jackson, who hopes to become an elementary school teacher, already helps out at Brookswood, coaching younger players.

“I want them to see that if they work hard and put the time in, that they can seriously do anything they set their mind too,” she said about what example she can set for them.

They can go anywhere they choose to go if the opportunities come their way from the hard work. And to have fun with it along the way and not take it too seriously.

“There is more to life than basketball but if you work hard enough, you can have basketball take you to great places in life. You need to be able to enjoy it as well.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Loblaw, the parent company of the Shoppers Drug Mart chain, announced Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020 that a staff member at the 20159 88th Ave. location in Langley tested positive for COVID-19. (Google)
Two Langley businesses and multiple schools issued COVID-19 exposure alerts

Neither business is listed as site of public exposure by Fraser Health

Google Maps screenshot taken at 6:07 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Westbound dump-truck crash on Highway 1

Crash occurred around 6:45 a.m., west of 232nd Street in Langley

Email your cooking questions to Chef Dez at dez@chefdez.com.
ON COOKING: Mulligatawny is tough to spell but a tasty soup

Chef Dez offers up his version of a classic soup

The W.C. Blair Pool will re-open Thursday for time-limited appointment-only swim sessions. (Langley Advance Times files)
Swims at W.C. Blair Pool back, but by appointment only

Most other group exercise has been closed due to pandemic restrictions

Joel Goddard and Susie Fletcher are parents of a baby son. Joel hasn’t been seen since Nov. 10. (Missing Joel Goddard Facebook page)
Family and friends continue searching for missing Langley father

Helicopters, drones and foot searches planned in the coming days

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Pfizer announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective a month after the first dose. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)
VIDEO: B.C. planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the first weeks of 2021

The question of who will get the vaccine first relies on Canada’s ethical framework

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Horgan is set to introduce his NDP government’s new cabinet Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP cabinet built to tackle pandemic, economic recovery, says former premier

Seven former NDP cabinet ministers didn’t seek re-election, creating vacancies in several high-profile portfolios

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Most Read