‘Dayton is special;’ Grambling State coach reflects on playing, coaching at Central State

DAYTON — Grambling State head men’s basketball Donte Jackson reflected on his time in Dayton while playing and coaching at Central State.

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He played basketball for the Marauders and graduated from Central State in 2003 and was their men’s basketball from 2010-14.

Jackson was asked about being in Dayton after the Grambling State Tigers beat Montana State, 88-81, in overtime Wednesday night in the First Four at the UD Arena.

“I became a man Dayton,” he said. “I remember my uncle dropping me off at Central State University. I transferred from Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was there for two years, playing basketball. Probably wasn’t making the best decisions in life and then I came over to Central State and they just gave me the foundation to be who I am today.”

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Jackson added he met his wife here in Dayton and his kids were born here. Several family, friends, and former players were in attendance Wednesday night.

“Dayton is a second home,” he concluded. “Dayton is special. You know, just meeting my wife alone. It’s just special just being here in Dayton.

This was Grambling State’s first NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament win after claiming their first Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) tournament title in program history.

The Tigers advance to the First Round and will play No. 1 seed Purdue in the Midwest Region at 7:25 p.m. at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

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