Jackson RodgersGLEN CARBON - It's been a very good start for sophomore basketball player Jackson Rodgers, as the Father McGivney Catholic High School player has averaged 20.3 points and 2.7 rebounds-per-game. He's also had three assists, four steals and two blocks in the first three games of the season for the Griffins.

In McGivney's first three games of the abbreviated season, Rodgers has scored 20 points in the opener at Breese Central Feb. 5, then followed up with 26 points against Carlyle on Feb. 6 and 15 points against Metro-East Lutheran Feb. 8.

For his efforts thus far on the court, Rodgers has been named the Griffins' Riverbender.com male Athlete of the Month for February, 2021.

Rodgers, who plays for head coach Todd Strong, credits his leadership and his teammates for helping him win this month's honor.

"My ability to lead and deal with adversity are what I think to be the two biggest reasons why I am able to succeed athletically," Rodgers said. "Without a strong group of guys around me, like my teammates, I would never be able to do the things I do. And being able to deal with adversity isn't only helpful in sports, but in life too. It helps keep you going, even in the toughest times."

Rodgers thanked his parents and grandparents for their support and encouragement in helping him achieve his success.

"My mom, Jayice Rodgers, who is a teacher in the Edwardsville School District, and continues to encourage me in everything I do," Rodgers said. "My dad, Randy Rodgers, who is a major in the Air Force, and is always giving me advice on how to improve as a person and athlete. And my grandparents, Randy and Denise Rodgers, who never miss a game and are my biggest supporters."

Rodgers has been playing basketball for some time, and enjoys the intangibles of playing the game.

"I've been playing basketball for as long as I can remember," Rodgers said. "I love the feeling of control you feel when the ball is in your hands, and the roar of a packed gym, knowing that they came to watch you play a game that you love."

The lessons that sports teaches young people haven't been lost on Rodgers, and they've given him a chance to apply what he's learned in different situations.

"Playing high school sports has helped me develop and build physical skills and character traits, not just for now, but throughout life," Rodgers said. "Being able to be on a team also helps me gain teamwork skills as well. It also gives me the chance to learn how to adapt to pressure situations, and how to handle victory and learn from defeat."

Rodgers doesn't have a hobby per se, but is always working on his games, both basketball and baseball.

"Not really," Rodgers said."When I'm not competing, I'm in a gym, working on my game and getting stronger, baseball or basketball. I do, however, enjoy spending time with friends and family, whether that's getting out or just hanging at the house."

Rodgers is also a member of the McGivney High Honor Roll, and is a pitcher and outfielder for the Griffins' baseball team. He hopes to play basketball in college, but hasn't yet decided where he'll go to school as of yet. He hopes to pursue a career as an orthopedic surgeon after graduation from college.

Riverbender.com's Athlete of the Month program is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and the cooperation of our area high schools. This is a great accomplishment and one to be very proud of. Please join us in congratulating this young athlete. We at Riverbender.com wish you continued success in your future!

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