'Hardwood Journeys:' Louisa County's Sylvie Jackson
MINERAL, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Louisa County's Sylvie Jackson never knew the distances the sport of basketball would take her when she signed up for a boy's rec league team in third grade.
"I didn't imagine this, I've always been competitive and I loved soccer," Jackson said, "I played boys in third grade, I was not good, but I was athletic, so I was getting steals, I could not shoot."
But growing up in the Charlottesville area Jackson was inspired by the local talent to pursue her own dreams on the court, even playing on a travel team in 5th grade which finished second at nationals with STAB's Kymora Johnson and William Monroe's Ella Weaver.
"I would watch [William Monroe alum] Sam Brunelle from around here, be like wow that's so cool I want to play college basketball. Having other great players in the area also helped because it was, not competing with them, but 'oh I want to work as hard as her."
After her family moved to Louisa following freshman year, Jackson found herself in unfamiliar territory with a familiar face in Olivia McGhee and immediately realized the opportunity in front of her.
"I wanted to win states, that was just our goal coming in here," Jackson said, "I didn't necessarily choose to come here, it was more of a family thing and I was like I just got to make the best of it."
In two seasons with the Lions, Jackson has picked up All-State honors, was named Jefferson District Player of the Year this past season and of course helped deliver the program's first ever state title.
"For me it was obviously exciting," Jackson said, "But I felt like for me it was ten times better for everyone who's grown up in here, in this area."
The list of Division I scholarships offers grew to 16 before Jackson decided on her future home of Davidson, her third offer she received, fitting for one of the area's best shooters in the place Golden State Warriors' star Steph Curry built.
"You walk into the Davidson facilities and it's like Steph Curry's right there, but I hope to get to meet him eventually," Jackson said, "I felt a lot more relaxed and just like I don't need to impress anybody anymore."
Jackson enters her final year in Louisa put in a position to inspire the next generation of girls, like her younger sister.
"I love seeing younger girls starting to enjoy the game and love the game," Jackson said, "I'm just going to try and lead the team the best way I can, making sure other girls are developing because they're next up."
This story is the first in a series featuring the top girls high school basketball players in Central Virginia.