UCSB welcomes two graduate transfers to Gaucho basketball team

By Shawn Warner-Garcia, Assistant Director of Professional Development
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 11:24 AM

This fall, UC Santa Barbara welcomes two graduate transfer athletes to the Gaucho basketball team. Marcus Jackson, a guard coming from Rice University, and Leland King II, a forward who played at Brown and Nevada, will each finish out their remaining year of eligibility while also starting graduate programs at UCSB. We are excited to welcome ​these highly ​accomplished ​players into both our athletic and academic ranks.

We sat down with Marcus and Leland to learn more about why they chose UCSB, how they are able to balance all of their competing interests and priorities, and what their plans are for the future.

WHY UCSB

Marcus: The chance to get a graduate degree from one of the top 10 public universities in the country is what drew me to UCSB. It also helps that I'm able to play close to home for a great basketball coaching staff in an amazing community. At UCSB, I will be pursuing a Masters in Education because it's interesting to me how people learn in different ways, and this will help prepare me for a coaching career after my playing days are over. Coaching and teaching go hand-in-hand, so I am excited for that aspect.
Leland: The reputation of this great university really led me to look into grad school here. I feel like a degree from UCSB will be really beneficial in the long run and will carry a lot of weight in the real world. UCSB also offers a great program that allows me to focus on my business interests, which was another deciding factor for me during the recruiting process. I believe that my business ideas and plans can help people and that I can be a good role model for young kids who look up to me.

GAUCHO BASKETBALL

Marcus: I have really enjoyed being a part of the Gaucho basketball team. From the day I stepped onto campus, my teammates made me feel like a part of their family. We are a tight-knit bunch and we really look out for each other.
Leland: Although I haven’t been here in Santa Barbara for very long, it really feels like a family environment. We have grown close in the short amount of time we all spent together this summer. I am looking forward to having a lot of fun with my teammates and winning a lot of games.

BALANCING ATHLETICS & ACADEMICS

Leland: Balancing school and basketball is something I've always had to do, so I don't think it will be too difficult. Both require a great amount of effort and countless hours, but I'm more than capable through my experience at my previous schools to succeed on and off the court. It will also help to have all the amazing advisors and academic staff to help me succeed.
Marcus: I haven't started taking classes yet, but I know it will be tough at times managing my classes with the grueling schedule of college basketball. But I know that I have all the resources I need to achieve success here at UCSB.

FUTURE PLANS

Marcus: I plan to be a professional basketball player for as long as I can and then to be a basketball coach when the ball stops bouncing.
Leland: I plan on playing basketball professionally in the future, and I also plan on doing something with business when my playing career comes to an end. Right now, my main focus is getting where I want to be through the game of basketball. But I believe there are a lot of different things I can do for the country once that is all over, and I believe UCSB is the right place for me to work on those things.

Welcome, Marcus and Leland! 

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