Supporting Despite the Distance

By Casey Overfield, Sports Editor

The bond that University of Utah women’s basketball player Megan Jacobs has with her siblings is unique: They support each other whether it’s on the NFL stage, the collegiate playing field or even the grounds of a high school. Jacobs, who discovered her love for basketball while watching her older sister play the sport in high school, also has two brothers. Her youngest sibling is playing high school football in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her older brother, Ben, is a linebacker for the Carolina Panthers, and is one of Jacobs’s biggest supporters.

“A lot of people assume that there is a lot of pressure attached to this and [that I have] big shoes to fill [because of] my brother,” Jacobs said. “But it [has] been more of having someone there to give advice because he has been through it at this level.”

Through frequent texts, calls and watching TV on Sundays, Jacobs makes sure to stay in touch with her brothers and sister. The siblings always send each other texts after games to offer each other words of encouragement and motivation, no matter if they walked away with a win or a loss.

Not only do the siblings have strong and supportive relationships with each other, but Jacobs’s parents have positive relationships with each one of their kids. They are there for their children and help motivate them to find success. Jacobs admits that she is her own worst critic, so when she is down she calls her parents for comfort.

“They just reassure me that every day will come with small struggles, and they remind me that I can keep working to get better,” Jacobs said. “They remind me that I am here for a reason and I should keep working as hard as I can.”

The Jacobs family revolves around football and basketball as all four kids played one of the two sports growing up. Although Jacobs found basketball to be her passion, she had plenty of experience on football teams. Growing up, Jacobs was the water girl for Ben’s teams, which were often coached by their dad, Mark. Mark loved coaching his kids because he was able to be involved in their lives.

“We wanted to keep our kids occupied,” Mark said. “We wanted them off the streets and doing the right thing through positive activities.”

Now that three of their four kids are out of the house, Mark and his wife, Beth, do their best to make the rounds to visit each of their children, no matter how spread out they are. Their oldest daughter resides in California, and she just gave birth to their first grandchild. As for Ben and Megan, Mark and Beth try to attend their games whenever they can. Mark said as parents it is one of the greatest blessings to see their children have success in their endeavors.

“Megan has a great opportunity at the U with a great program,” Mark said. “We are all excited to watch her. It is looking good for her. We are very happy with the coaching staff and the way the team is looking this season.”

[email protected]