AS the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft approaches, Trevis Jackson looks forward to following the footsteps of his close friend, Sol Mercado, who he considers as his real-life superhero.
"Sol was almost a superhero for me. Like, 'Man, you're doing it.' I look up to him and I've followed him in Ginebra, Meralco, San Miguel, and Rain or Shine," the Fil-Am guard said.
The Sacramento-born Jackson feels lucky to have Mercado guiding him through this endeavor as the Ginebra guard has been giving him valuable insights in preparation for the life in the PBA.
"He's big for me and gives me advice, not just here in the draft but being a young man in life in general. Just being here and being on the court, he lets me know to control my emotions, understand the bigger picture, and know that it's not always about you but the group," he shared, with Mercado intently following him in his travails in the PBA D-League with Gamboa Coffee Mix and Marinerong Pilipino.
"Luckily, we're very similar in that mindset so he's been able to get to me very easily and I've been able to translate that to my play."
Jackson's frenetic style of play is reminiscent of that of the old Mercado, the one that captivated the league in his first years in Rain or Shine as he formed an exciting partnership with Gabe Norwood.
But the 5-foot-11 playmaker hopes that his game just doesn't just evoke memories of Mercado, but other fierce Fil-Am guards as well like Chris Ross and Simon Enciso, both of whom he also considers as close friends.
"It's an honor to be seen like them because I feel the most important thing in anything in life is to recognize and appreciate those who came before you. Whether if its local or Fil-Am, it doesn't matter. If I see you setting an example, I'll follow that example and make it my own afterwards for the generation before me," he said.
That's why Jackson admits that he feels no pressure heading to Sunday's proceeding, confident that whatever he has done in his career over the past year is enough to get his name called out.
"It is a guard-heavy draft, but everyone here is prepared. As far as my chances, I like 'em. I do like my chances and I look forward to it," he said. "My confidence lies on my preparation. I've prepared for this since I was four years old. I rely on that and just have strong belief and see where it takes me."