Garfield's Jackie Tabor is veteran presence for youth-filled G-Men

By Colin Harris | Staff Writer Published:

If only you could redshirt in high school sports.

Garfield senior Jackie Tabor has not stood in the spotlight much over the past two years, partly because she has been asked to hold down the fort for the G-Men as she awaits for the cavalry to arrive.

Those troops suited up this year in the form of numerous talented freshmen and sophomores that, while inconsistent at times, have provided hints of what could be a strong program for years to come.

It's unfortunate, then, that Tabor will be watching that future success from the stands as the talented guard is set to graduate in just a few months.

"In the years to come, this team is going to be really good," Tabor said. "We were just so young, playing two freshmen and two sophomores at the same time at points this year."

But Tabor said that she isn't dwelling on her expiring eligibility because of the experiences she's already had as a member of the Garfield program.

"It's going to be rough not being able to play for Garfield anymore, but I came along at the right time," Tabor said. "The seniors I had my freshman year were great to me, and I was happy I got to play with people like Haley Knight and Emily Hartman during my career."

A four-year varsity player, Tabor has been a fixture in the backcourt for the G-Men during her career. Last year, Tabor earned Second-Team All-County Division honors and is among the favorites for a spot on the division's First Team list this season.

Tabor is averaging 10.5 points per game to go along with four rebounds, four assists and close to two steals to emerge as Garfield's top all-around player.

Garfield head coach Aaron Gilbert said that Tabor has been a strong producer for his team, but her value goes beyond just what happens on the court.

"It's hard to say goodbye to good kids and Jackie is one of them," Gilbert said. "She's well-rounded in everything she does on and off of the court and that's the example of what our younger kids are looking up to.

"Jackie has stepped up as a leader in these past two years in a number of ways," Gilbert added. "She's always asking what she can do to get better. When we need her to she's the one who can talk to those freshmen and sophomores and tell them about her experiences when she was in their shoes."

While she could have as few as one game left in a Garfield uniform as the tournaments get under way for the team on Wednesday, the future is still bright for Tabor.

Last week, Tabor committed to continue her athletic and academic careers at Carlow University, a Catholic university in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.

Tabor will be joining former Ravenna standout Chanel Berry on a team that the Garfield senior said will provide a great opportunity to contribute early.

"When I went to Carlow, I knew it was the right school," Tabor said. "I thought about it for a day, and I decided I loved it.

"Carlow is graduating five seniors and four of them start this season, so I feel like they have a lot to teach me and I can really develop there," Tabor said.

Still, with her prep career nearly at an end, the Garfield senior has come to a realization that probably every student-athlete reaches at one point or another.

"Our last home game was Saturday and that was the last time I'd ever play on my home court," Tabor said. "(2011 Garfield graduate) Emily Hartman told me before the year that I needed to savor all of the moments I had this season.

"You think as a freshman about how you have 80 or more games you can play," Tabor added. "By the time your senior year comes, you're down to just 22 games and you realize that time flew by."

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Email: charris@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9447

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