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Northwest High School senior Dawson White (3) drives toward the basket during a game Thursday night at home against Marshall.  Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.

By Jeff Steers
JTV Sports

Northwest High School student Dawson White said his parent have always encouraged him to get involved in many activities.

The senior is in a number of activities – including basketball – throughout the Jackson community.

Last Friday those accomplishments – plus a healthy grade point average of 4.0 – paid off for White.

He was awarded a 100 percent academic scholarship to Saginaw Valley State University. White plans to become a physician’s assistant.

Teacher Marnie Hade found out about the scholarship announcement and wanted to do something special for White. Nine inches of snow 10 days ago ruined those plans as Hade had a SVSU representative lined up to speak during her Senior Forum class.

But technology took over, and approximately 30 people were involved in a Zoom call in her classroom three days later – including a representative from the college, White’s classmates, and family members last Friday.

“My teacher asked me to come up to the front of the class for an announcement,” White said. “I didn’t know what was going on.

“It was a great surprise as they (SVSU) were my top choice.”

The academic scholarship award is worth nearly $50,000.

But White has other options and that thought of playing college basketball still dances in his head. He learned that Alma College had offered him a 75 percent academic scholarship this week.

White is also waiting on a pair of 100 percent academic scholarships from a couple of other schools.

His resume is impressive with the perfect grade point average, his sports accomplishments, and involvement in the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative at NWHS, a mentor program for youths 10-15 years old, his involvement in helping freshmen adapt to high school life, and volunteer hours needed for the National Honor Society.

“I have to give the credit to my parents for pushing me to be involved,” White said. “They knew I had to prepare for the future.”

Hade said White is the kind of student/athlete who enjoys helping others.

“He loves the sports, but sees his academic future also,” Hade said. “He wants to help people.”

White said he played other sports, but began to concentrate on basketball in high school.

“I have played the sport since I was a kid,” White said. “It is going to be tough to turn away from it (basketball) … but at the end of the day it is about my career and the (scholarship) money that will influence my decision.

“Helping people has always been a passion for me.”

But so is the sport of basketball.

White scored 13 points and teammate Duncan Moffitt added 12 points as Northwest lost 50-44 to Marshall at home on Thursday. The scrappy bunch from NWHS cut the lead from nearly 20 points in the second half to just four points in the closing minute.

“Sports teaches you how to overcome adversity and gives you life lessons about being successful in life,” White said.

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