Ex-Stanford basketball star Casey Jacobsen returns to college studies

PALO ALTO (KTVU) -- Casey Jacobsen’s resume includes two-time all-American, first-round NBA draft pick, German League Finals MVP, and Pac-12 Networks analyst.  What his resume does NOT include: college graduate.  But that’s about the change.

“I'm 35 years old and I'm an undergrad," he said.

So 14 years after leaving Stanford early to turn pro, the guy with that pure stroke of a basketball is working on the pure stroke of a pen, earning his degree in communication.

“I've never started something in my life that's been significant and not finished it,” Jacobsen said. "It had been on my mind for a long time.  I've always enjoyed learning.  Even when I played professionally in the NBA and overseas I'd always read books. But they were books that I chose, that I wanted to read, and when you're in school you are told the books to read.  So there’s a difference there.”

And that’s not the only difference.

“I took a tennis class, and the coach hadn't shown up yet. A girl started peppering me with questions, I had to tell her I'm not the coach or professor.  She's like, ‘Oh I am so sorry.’  That was a nice, humble reminder. I'm not a young person anymore; I'm on old guy coming back to school to finish something.”

Since Casey is back on campus learning, he figured, why not do a little teaching?  So he’s spent some time helping out the current men's and women's teams in practice.

“I was a psycho competitor, I wanted to win more than anything,” he explains.  “Probably too much, it might have been a fault. I want to share my passion for basketball and winning with these guys.”

“He is absolutely not the old guy,” added Stanford senior Grant Verhoeven.  “I am the old guy. He's running up and down just as much as we are, so it's great having him out here.”

Cardinal Head Coach Jerod Haase appreciates the life wisdom that Jacobsen provides.

“What is life like after basketball, and what is life like after Stanford? ;He can share those experiences and I think that's really valuable for our guys.  His shot is still really good, too – as pure as ever.”

As is his passion for knowledge, and for affirmation.  Casey is on track to graduate this month - assuming he can survive finals this week.

“I'm trying not to think about the end.     It’s just like NCAA tourney, if you look too far ahead you don't enjoy the journey, and you lose a little bit of focus on what you should be doing.  So I try to take those lessons that Coach Monty taught me here at Stanford, and not look too far ahead.  The result will take care of itself."

By KTVU sports reporter Scott Reiss.

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