The Paxton boy's basketball team has had quite the run in recent years, from an Elite Eight finish in 2009, to two District Championships. Senior Chad Zessin has been a major impact in achieving those milestones, and when you're from Paxton, Florida, and stand at 6'7 as Chad does, everyone starts to take notice.
"To see Chad in the 6th grade, a long gangly guy that just kind of clumsy around, and growing up, and growing up and getting to be a really good player for us," says head coach Jeff Bradley.
Chad's good play led the Bobcats to a 20-8 season, as he contributed 18 points, and grabbed 13 rebounds per game in his final year. But it's Chad's accomplishments off the court that really take notice, as he graduated 4th in his class with a 3.8 unweighted GPA.
"The student comes first," says Chad. "I believe if you do well in school, it's going to reflect how you do on the basketball court, your sportsmanship, just your all around character is going to reflect on the court."
Several colleges have noticed that Chad is really good both on, and off, the court, as he's received several offers from Division II schools, and has gotten notice of some Ivy League Colleges- but despite his talents on the hardwood- Chad knows academics overweigh them all.
"It's best for me to go and focus on my academics rather then focus on basketball which isn't going to take me anywhere," says Chad.
"Basketball was always a love of his, and he loved to play, and it was his getaway," says Coach Bradley. "He could excel there, and he really did excel throughout the course of his years- but he never lost focus on his academics."
"Everybody wants everybody to remember them," says Chad. "I just hope they remember me to be a student-athlete and do my academics, great sportsman. Not just basketball, just everything else- the game of life."
To be remembered in the game of life, and whether he was 6'7 or not, Chad Zessin's name will be one surely remembered for many years to come. Chad says he wants to be an optometrist, and says he'll attend Northwest Florida State, where walking on the hoops team is still an option while he earns his A.A.