As I heard the tragic news of Jackson's passing, I reflected back to a few moments my brother and I were able to have with him. While relatively short encounters in the big scheme of life, I found them to be insightful to the man he was, and thought I might share with fellow fans so they might also know of who the Cyclone star truly was.
The first story that came to mind was one passed down to me by my brother, a college friend to Jackson. Jared Homan, Jackson Vroman, and several other friends, including my brother, made the journey to Arrowhead to watch Iowa State kick off the 2002 season against Florida State. As they walked around the stadium's concourse, Jackson managed to break a light with his significant size. He turned to my 6' brother and asked that he "hide" the 6'11" monster in the paint. No moment was too big for his sense of humor.
The other story that I recalled involved my trip to the 2004 basketball tournament in Dallas. My birthday present that year was getting to make the trip to watch the good guys and shortly after a victory over Kansas State I raced down to the tunnel to congratulate the players. Unfortunately I was too late, or so I thought, when I saw Jake Sullivan and Jackson Vroman lead the team back to greet me. As an 8 year old boy who loved his Cyclones, it was a moment that blew me away, with so much humility and kindness on display.
Jackson was a man who filled up a room, not only literally with his size, but also with his personality. He certainly lived life to its fullest, basketball being just one example of how much energy he could put forth. We lost a good one far too soon Cyclone Nation.