Two seniors for the Omaha men’s basketball team have already had quite the season.
One has led the team in points per game, creating match-up nightmares for opposing teams with his quickness and fantastic midrange game. The other has created a name for himself through clutch moments, making him the go-to an in late game situations.
Their Maverick careers are certainly in their twilight. However, for Zach Jackson and Mitch Hahn, the most important games of their careers are yet to come. Their legacies as leaders for this team has already been cemented. This weekend, though, they can become legends by punching Omaha’s first ever ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
It’s been quite the journey for these two. Jackson went from a 3.5 points per game player as a freshman to a team-leading 18.3 PPG in his senior campaign. Hahn has seen his career continue to blossom as well. After a slow start to the season, Hahn finished with 53 combined points in his final two regular season games as a Maverick. It’s clear that without these two, the Mavs aren’t a two-seed in the Summit.
Their chemistry off the court has also helped strengthen this team. Being roommates, the two have been able to spend quality time with each other, making the two even closer teammates.
“Living with someone for four years, you kind of get to know what the other wants to do or likes,” Hahn said. “What makes them comfortable, uncomfortable and you try to cater to that.”
The two have seen a fair share of each other, but it’s clearly effective. In their senior seasons, both Jackson and Hahn are in the top three on the team in scoring and rebounds.
This season has been an unforgettable one for players and fans alike. From Jackson’s 27-point game to stump Purdue-Fort Wayne to Hahn’s all-time heroic game-winner to stun South Dakota State, the tandem has been at the forefront of Omaha’s 10-2 conference record, leading them to an important two-seed in the Summit League tournament. However, they know they aren’t done yet.
“I don’t think our legacy is good enough yet,” Jackson said. “We still want to try and make history this weekend. We’ve been fortunate enough to be on good teams with great players so we just hope we can continue that tradition.”
Hahn agreed with Jacksons’ sentiments, saying that they aren’t done yet but hope their work ethic has inspired those whose follow in their footsteps.
“I’m hoping that things that we do every day in practice, the weight room and off the court will carry on to other teams and the type of work ethic we brought,” Hahn said. “I feel like those things will mean more if we win this weekend.”
Maverick fans will remember these two fondly, as will Jackson and Hahn, who both agreed that the city support seems higher than ever. However, Jackson and Hahn will be able to give fans an experience they’ll never forget if they can win a Summit title this weekend.
As for who is the better player between the two of them, the two both modestly suggested the other would win in a game of one-on-one.
“Zach would win,” Hahn said with a smile.
“Eh, if Mitch gets hot, I don’t know,” retorted Jackson.
“Zach would probably win,” Hahn reaffirmed.
Nothing but respect for each other between the two roommates and teammates. One final series to end a pair of storied careers.
The Mavericks begin the conference tournament Saturday night in Sioux Falls against North Dakota.