"It was some sad times, but I just kept telling myself that I had to do it and that it's going to be better times," he said. "Now I'm here and we played at Kansas on national TV. That's a big chance that I have right there to take the next step."
Not everyone agreed with Hackett's decision. Some of his former high school classmates thought it was selfish to walk out on friends on the eve of his senior year.
But those closest to Hackett realized he was just trying to help his new school. And he has won a new set of admirers along the way.
"It makes him different," Floyd said. "It makes him goal-oriented, it makes him driven, it makes him probably a little more mature than most people are at that age. He's a self-starter and a bright guy."