CINCINNATI – Jackson See won’t soon forget his game-winning 3-pointer that clinched the AAU national championship Monday in Orlando.
The highlight was shown on ESPN's SportsCenter late Monday night and the Lakota East junior guard heard about it from a friend and watched it at 2 a.m.
"It was a great feeling and I was excited to see it," See told WCPO.com Tuesday morning. "My friends and family are very proud and I am glad I can share that moment with them."
See's shot from the left elbow gave Ohio Unity a 53-50 win over QCAA Force Monday to clinch the 16-and-under AAU boys’ basketball national title. QCAA Force is an Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) team. The game was streamed live on ESPN3.com.
“The moment that shot went through the hoop, I’m sure my teammates are in agreement that it was a memory that would last a lifetime,” See told WCPO.com Monday night. “The feel was indescribable, and I’m so glad I got to share that moment with my best friends.”
See was the seventh man on the Thunderhawks team (18-8 in 2015-16) that reached the Division I regional semifinals last season. Lakota East coach Clint Adkins couldn’t be happier for See.
“It was a great end to a summer for a guy who really works his butt off,” Adkins said. “He has battled a bad back all summer long but just keeps fighting. I am very proud of him and it is a pleasure to be his coach.”
Ohio Unity had 11 area players on its rosters including Wilmington junior point guard Dylan Beaugard, who helped lead the Hurricane to the Division I state semifinals last winter - Wilmington's first state tournament appearance since 1927.
With nine seconds left in the national final Monday, Beaugard drove to the right block and kicked it to See on the left elbow. See’s 3-pointer gave cause for Ohio Unity’s bench to erupt in joy.
Beaugard couldn’t hide the enthusiasm in his voice late Monday afternoon despite the long drive home from Orlando.
“It means a lot,” Beaugard said. “We’ve been working hard. And for it all to come together and the friendships we made, it’s pretty nice.”
Ohio Unity went 7-0 starting July 13 in Orlando. It played talented teams from such places as New York and West Virginia.
“To me, it was comparable to the (Wilmington) state final four,” said Ohio Unity coach Marty Beaugard, who is Dylan’s father. “It was just a good game. They stayed focused.”
Ohio Unity played three or four EYBL teams in the process. Wilmington coach Mike Noszka said winning the national title is an “absolutely phenomenal” accomplishment.
“It’s awesome,” Marty Beaugard said. “It’s still a dream come true.”
See said he and his teammates are grateful for the opportunity and can’t to compete again next summer.
“It’s a great feeling to win the national title,” See said. “Our whole team is honored to play alongside such talented athletes.”
Other players include Springboro’s Thomas Arrington, Moeller’s Alex Dehyle, Woodward’s Terry Durham (formerly of Winton Woods), St. Xavier’s Bobby Jefferson, Springboro’s Noah Kelly, CHCA’S Michael Nelson, Mason’s Noah Pedelty, CHCA’s Paris Simpson and Wilmington’s Matt Smith. The team was co-coached by Marty Beaugard and Corey Santee.