Edwardsburg’s Jackson Gaideski is seen here battling inside with Dowagiac’s Keoante Blackamore during their Wolverine West Division meeting last month. (Leader photo/File)
Edwardsburg’s Jackson Gaideski is seen here battling inside with Dowagiac’s Keoante Blackamore during their Wolverine West Division meeting last month. (Leader photo/File)

Archived Story

Gaideski a rebounding machine for Eddies

Published 9:29am Thursday, February 27, 2014

Edwardsburg boys basketball player Jackson Gaideski is a ball hog.

And that’s a good thing.

With hands of glue, Gaideski snares rebounds in between opponents and teammates.

Last week, the 6-foot-2 junior totaled 12 rebounds in the Eddies 84-53 win over Dowagiac and followed that up with a 15-rebound performance in a 68-55 win over South Haven. The win over the Rams gave Edwardsburg the Wolverine Conference West Division title.

“I just box-out and do my job and the ball just bounces to me,” said Gaideski, who’s pulling down eight rebounds a game. “I also diamond my fingers. That’s something I’ve done since I was little. It’s just doing the fundamentals. You never drop the ball.”

While on the ground against South Haven, Gaideski grabbed a rebound and he wasn’t finished making a play. He quickly passed the ball to Derek Pierce, who made a lay-up.

“(Pierce) made a nice cut and I tossed the ball up and he was right there to score,” Gaideski said. “It just worked out.”

Eddies coach Steve Wright is getting used to seeing amazing plays like that from Gaideski.

“The big thing about him is that he’s relentless going after the ball,” said first-year Edwardsburg coach Steve Wright. “He’s usually doing something to keep the ball alive. What he’s done for us is just huge.”

Gaideski isn’t just limited to being a rebounder. He totaled 27 points in the wins over Dowagiac and South Haven and on the season he’s averaging 10 points a game.

“He gives us a presence inside that can score and rebound,” Wright said. “He does a nice job defensively as well. Jackson gets the biggest opposing player on the floor and Jackson isn’t the thickest guy on the floor.”

Don’t expect Gaideski to get worn out battling bigger opponents. Minutes on the floor are precious to the Edwardsburg basketball standout, who came off the bench last year.

“It’s more fun (being a starter) because I get to play more,” Gaideski said.

Wright, who was the junior varsity coach last year, isn’t surprised about Gaideski’s impact this season.

“When I watched him last year he gave us great minutes and you could see him grow as a man and a basketball player in the offseason. What we’ve seen in practice is what you see in games. He earns every second out there.”

Gaideski has seen growth in his game from his sophomore to junior year.

“My shooting has gotten a little better and I’m scoring and rebounding better underneath the basket,” Gaideski said.

Unselfishness and a family atmosphere has helped the Eddies enter the final week of the regular season with a 13-5 overall record and an 8-2 record in the Wolverine Conference West Division.

“We pass the ball well,” Gaideski said. “No one shoots the ball all the time. Our offense is spread out.

“We have pretty good team chemistry. We do a lot of stuff together. We’re all really good friends. We’ve been playing basketball together since we were little.”

 

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