Dual talented Dubinski takes talents to local Columbia College


Luke Chval

It’s not very rare to find two-sport athletes at RBHS. In fact, it’s quite common, with three varsity basketball players playing multiple sports and numerous RBHS runners participating in track and cross-country.
Senior Jackson Dubinski is one of these two-sport athletes, playing both varsity basketball and varsity golf for the Bruins. What’s different about Dubinski, though, is that he is plans to be the rare person who will plays two sports in college.

Senior Jackson Dubinski lays it up and in in a game against Helias Catholic. Basketball, along with golf, are the sports Dubinski will play at Columbia College next fall. photo by Maribeth Eiken
Senior Jackson Dubinski lays it up and in in a game against Helias Catholic. Basketball, along with golf, are the sports Dubinski will play at Columbia College next fall. photo by Maribeth Eiken
Dubinski signed a letter of intent on April 17 to play basketball and golf at Columbia College, an athletic program in Divsion I of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The golf season is in the early fall to late spring, while the basketball season goes from the late fall to the early spring, making Dubinski’s athletic schedule almost non-stop for the next four years.
“There’s going to be a ton of challenges that come with playing two sports,” Dubinski said. “School obviously will be tough, but I hope that with the right work ethic and maturity I can stay on top of my school work just like I have in high school.”
Basketball coach Jim Scanlon gave a short speech about Dubinski during his signing to Columbia College and pointed out that Dubinski is one of the best point guards he has ever coached. Talent, leadership and commitment are among the things Scanlon attributes to Dubinski’s worth on the court.
“He’s just a remarkable kid,” Scanlon said. “Not just in basketball, but in character, integrity, competitiveness, leadership. He’s probably the best leader I’ve ever had. I don’t think you can make those kind of people. They’re just born.”
Dubinski was the only returning starter this year, which is why Scanlon said the team’s 21-4 record this season was so impressive. Being the most experienced player on the team this season, Dubinski had an unspoken responsibility to lead, which he stepped into comfortably.
“As a point guard, his leadership is unbelievable,” Scanlon said. “I would get the scouting report before every game, and he always knew it to the letter. He relayed it to everybody else because half of them wouldn’t know. He’s just a coach’s dream.”
Junior Matt Echelmeier plays on the golf team with Dubinski, a sport which is hard for one-on-one instruction from a coach because the isolation of the holes that different golfers play on. Echelmeier says, therefore, the need for leaders in golf is highly important, which is why he has appreciated Dubinski so much.
“He has been a great friend and even a role model to me over the years,” Echelmeier said. “He’s very dedicated to improving to become better and better every day, and that’s something that I definitely admire about him. I wish him a very bright future, which I’m certain he will attain.”
Although Dubinski’s last basketball season at RBHS ended in a heartbreaking loss in the district tournament to Jefferson City, he has hopes of championships ahead at Columbia College.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to play the two sports I love most and have an opportunity to win a national title in two sports,” Dubinski said. “That’s the overall goal, I wanted to win a state title in basketball so bad and unfortunately couldn’t do it but I would love to make up for that in college.”
Scanlon plans to keep in touch with Dubinski throughout his athletic career and has stated how Columbia College was a great decision for him to make, and knew during the season that Dubinski favored Columbia College.
“I knew they were interested in him, and I knew it was mutual,” Scanlon said. “His family is here. They can watch him play, and I think it’s a perfect situation for both of them. I think he got a nice university to go to, and they got a really nice player.”
Dubinski knows playing two sports in college will be a major struggle, but believes it will be worth it, and he would regret giving one sport up.
“I think what led me to play two sports is the fact that I truly love both,” Dubinski said. “It’d be hard for me to give up something that I love so much, so I went to a place where I knew was a perfect fit to play basketball, while still having an opportunity to play a game I love which is golf.”
Echelmeier thinks Dubinski will be ready to deal with the weight of balancing two sports in college and commends his willingness to take up a busy schedule to continue two of his favorite things. He knows many people are skeptical, but believes Dubinski will be able to push past the challenges.
“Playing multiple sports is something that is lost in this day and age that says you must dedicate your life at only one sport to become really good,” Echelmeier said. “Jackson is able to make it happen where, even if time to practice each sport might be limited by the other, the intensity of his practice makes up for that plus even more.”
By Luke Chval