At a towering 6’ 6”, Jacobi Sebock loves to slam what’s called an “East Bay Dunk.” Check this out!
The Oklahoma City teen’s success on the basketball court is getting attention from the likes of professional basketball players, like the Golden State Warrior’s Point Guard, Steph Curry.
Jacobi was one of the top eight players chosen to attend Steph Curry’s UNDERRATED Tour after he wrote an essay about why he felt he was an underrated player. The Tour showcases high school players who have great potential for playing the sport. The 18-year-old explained how he played the game despite not being able to sweat due to hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (HED).
Jacobi was one of 75 chosen to attend a camp in Dallas. He made the next cut the following day, being in the Top 30. Finally, he achieved the top eight and flew to California where he met Curry and got to play with other elite players. Jacobi said college recruits watched from the stands as he and the other players trained and got tips from Curry and other basketball experts.
Jacobi was instrumental in helping his Midwest City High School team make it to the state tournament. He was named to the All-State Team and earned many other accolades his senior year. The shy teen has become a local media star as people are noticing what he’s overcome to develop his basketball talent.Watch TV Segment on Jacobi
Jacobi plans to spend the summer playing in the All-Star game and then training for his upcoming season. The recent high school graduate will attend Dodge City Junior College in Kansas in the fall. He dreams of playing hoops at a Division I school like the University of Oregon.
In 2018, he attended the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias (NFED) Family Conference in Portland, Oregon. He went with the other teens to tour the Nike campus and was impressed. He also visited the University of Oregon and fell in love with what he saw. Jacobi has his eyes on the NBA, specifically the Chicago Bulls, where his favorite player and namesake played, Michael Jordan.
The Family Team
Jacobi was born into a basketball-loving family. He was even named for his mom’s favorite two NBA players, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. She combined Jordan and Kobe to create “Jacobi.”
Both his mom, Franki Sebock, and his dad, Anthony Gillam, played the sport and coached middle school teams. All of his older sisters played, too.
“I love basketball because growing up, I always played with my family every day and it just made me love it even more,” Jacobi said. “My family motivates me on the court. They push me to be great. My family helped me along the way, with the workouts and games outside of basketball. I want to push myself even harder to workout, to get where I want to be in life.”
How He Stays Cool
When he was growing up, Jacobi wore various cooling gear to help regulate his body temperature. He had cooling vests and wristbands that he wore at recess and while he played sports. Always prepared, his parents kept a set of two of each in a cooler on the sidelines.
As he approached his senior year, Jacobi told his parents he didn’t need to use that gear any more. He found other ways to keep cool. Since puberty, he does sweat a little, with his skin getting clammy on his arms, chest and hands. Besides putting water around his neck and drinking lots of water, Jacobi said he regulates his breathing to help himself stay cool.
According to Franki, she’s always given a folder of information to Jacobi’s coaches to help them understand HED and his need to stay cool. The basketball star says he worked out a signal with his varsity coach to indicate when he needed to come out and take a cooling break. That system has worked well.
First in His Family
Like many kids with HED, he was diagnosed with the rare condition at 17 months old by a dentist after his teeth were not developing. A geneticist confirmed it. Franki did an internet search to learn more and found the NFED.
“I reached out and the NFED gave us a ton of information,” Franki said. “They mailed us brochures and booklets, and I took all that stuff to the doctor and was educating the doctor. So, it’s your organization which has really helped us throughout the years. I was Googling things to help keep him cool while he played sports, because the doctor said he’d never be able to play.”
Jacobi has proven that doctor wrong. He’s living proof that kids who can’t sweat can compete by taking the proper cooling precautions.
This year, for the first time, Jacobi joined his high school track team. Given how well he could jump on the basketball court, he wanted to see how well he could do in the high jump and long jump events.
Even in his first year, Jacobi excelled, placing fifth at the state finals track meet in the high jump and 14th in the long jump.
It seems that no matter how high a bar is set, Jacobi is going to reach it! We look forward to watching him pursue his dreams.
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