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Washington University athlete picks basketball over business

"Once I say goodbye to this opportunity, I can never go back,” Charlie Jacob said.

ST. LOUIS — When he has the ball in his hands, good things happen.

Charlie Jacob plays at Washington University in St. Louis. He’s the definition of a student-athlete and is getting his master’s degree in finance.

He could have walked out of the gym last year and made six figures in a consulting job, but he turned it down.

“It comes down to a values thing for me. I can always, always have time for that once this is over. Once I say goodbye to this opportunity, I can never go back,” Jacob said.

That opportunity is to lead the Bears to another NCAA Tournament.

“Not only a great player, but a great leader," head coach Pat Juckem said. "Just having another year of Charlie in our program, helping our young guys and certainly his performance on the court.”

On the court, he is shooting 51% from the three-point range, was the defensive player of the year in the conference and is averaging 13 points a game.

Charlie draws much of his strength from his teammate from last season, Justin Hardy, who died of stomach cancer.

“I think a lot about his leadership last year and drawn that a ton this year with how I interact with the team, how I lead, the energy which how I lead all of that. I looked to his example and I feel him in this gym, in the locker room, everywhere we go,” he said.

And where this is going may depend on Charlie Jacob who gave up a lot to come back and play.

“I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to come back and play with the guys,” he said.

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