More on Pasha Jackson
This past week I got to speak with Pasha Jackson, sort of.
Because Pasha lives in Cuba, we spoke indirectly via email, since a phone call would cost about $4 a minute.
In case you missed it, here’s the story.
For those who forget, Pasha was a very solid linebacker for OU in 2002, 2003 after transferring over from San Francisco City College. He also was an outstanding student.
I learned of Pasha’s story from his girlfriend, whose name, coincidentally, is Tasha. Pasha and Tasha’s names not only rhyme, but they have the same birthday. Tasha, who used to be in journalism, once worked with Andrea Cohen, The Oklahoman’s OSU hoops writer, at the newspaper in Birmingham, Ala. Tasha is now working in PR in California.
Anyway, it was nice to see someone take the road last traveled. The average career of an NFL player is only a couple of years, and I’m sure finding out what to do next for those players is a difficult decision.
But Pasha embraced the opportunity to do something more with his life, rather than sulk about his misfortune in the NFL (when he was cut by the 49ers, he learned of it via memo), and injures in Europe.
Pasha clearly is passionate about his medical school, improving relations between Cuba and the U.S., and about one day returning to the states to work with low-income communities.
“I feel that the entire medical school institution is invested in my success and expects it,” he told me. “I haven’t seen courses out here that weed people out. There’s a huge support system amongst everyone at the school. It’s a community making sure you will do your best.”
This is what Pasha had to say to other D-1 athletes, who have aspirations away from the playing field, about balancing schoolwork and athletics.
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