Waiting for history

Correspondent photo / Robert Hayes Jackson-Milton senior Mason Robison, right, drives in the paint against Lowellville back on Dec. 11, 2020. Earlier this season, the versatile guard joined the school’s 1,000-point club.

NORTH JACKSON — It’s been a long time coming for Jackson-Milton senior Mason Robison.

Back on Feb. 9 at home against Columbiana, the 6-foot guard came flying in off the left side of the lane and laid in a feed from fellow senior Andrew Bouch Jr. to record his 1,000th career point.

“It’s definitely very relieving, it’s something that I’ve known of since my freshman year that I’ve been trying to get to,” Robison said. “Coming into this year knowing how close I was, and as I got closer and closer to getting it, it started to weigh on me just a little bit more in the back of my head. But it honestly just felt really good to get it finally.”

Only needing 33 points for the major milestone, Robison sustained an injury a minute into a contest against Sebring, causing him to miss several games and return on Jan. 30 against Champion.

Needing nine points going into the game against the Clippers, it took a few games for the senior to fully return to form, with the achievement being so close, yet so far away in the same breath.

Correspondent photo / Robert Hayes Jackson-Milton senior Mason Robison runs off the bench during pregame introductions prior to tipoff against the Lowellville Rockets on Dec. 11, 2020. Robison overcame an injury and eventually scored the 1,000th point of his career this season.

“It honestly hurt a little bit when it happened.” he said about the injury. “I was scared that I was going to be out for the rest of the season, and knowing that I was so close, it just made it that much worse. That’s something that pushed me to try and get back as fast as I can, and wanted me to get back.

“I wanted to rush it, but I took the smart game and didn’t, and I eventually got it anyways, so it worked out.”

He’s a dynamic player for the Blue Jays, showing an ability to shoot the deep ball and drive to the rim, which has led him to average 18 points per game so far during his senior campaign, but that wasn’t always the case.

Coach Steve Procopio always saw the potential in Robison, especially as he progressed from a one-dimensional shooter to a guard with a diverse skillset on the court.

“I remember him walking in as a freshman, he was probably 4 inches shorter, 30 pounds lighter,” he said. “We looked at him and said this is going to be our guy this year, and he’s steadily improved every single year and he’s really earned this.

“Each year he’s progressed as a player. Freshman (year) when he came in, he really wanted to stay along the 3-point line, shoot the 3,” Procopio said. “As a sophomore, he started to break that habit and was getting more comfortable handling the basketball. As a junior he came in, a really great shooter still, wanted to defend and handle the ball.”

Attacking the rim has been a key to his success in a season where he’s averaged over 18 points per contest.

Jackson-Milton has split their freshman and varsity practices at times this season due to the pandemic, but Robison has left some freshmen wanting to stick around for varsity.

“Mason’s work ethic, along with the rest of his teammates’, that’s all really rubbed off on these younger guys, and they want to have that same success that these guys are having now,” Procopio said.

Robison also participates in baseball and golf at Jackson-Milton, and it’s his work on the fairway that has helped him improve as an athlete.

“It is very easy to get angry really fast in that game,” he said with a chuckle. “So I guess that could help me ntally, by keeping my temper in (line) and keeping cool and just going out and playing.”

The Blue Jays enter the Division IV Northeast 2 bracket as the 11th-seed and host 14th-seed Western Reserve today.

“I think we have a great chance to go to districts this year,” Robison said. “I mean we do have a tough tournament schedule but I think if we play a team and play together then really put our best basketball together then we really have a good shot of getting there.”


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