Tiffany Jackson, former WNBA player and all-American in Texas, dies at 37

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Tiffany Jackson, American basketball player in Texas and fifth selection of the WNBA draft in 2007, died Monday at the age of 37 from breast cancer. the school announced.

“We are deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Tiffany Jackson, one of the greatest players in Texas women’s basketball history,” Longhorns coach Vic Schaefer said of Jackson. who was the head coach of Wiley College, an NAIA school. in Marshall, TX. “From her days as a player for DFW Elite to her days as a player at the University of Texas, Tiffany has meant so much to so many people in this great state of Texas.”

Jackson was also an American at Duncanville, Texas High, whose coach tweeted Monday night that she “was an amazing mother, daughter, friend, teammate, and role model to so many.”

A three-time American player for the Longhorns from 2003-2007, Jackson was a member of the 30-5 Texas team that qualified for the Sweet 16 of the 2004 NCAA Tournament and was named National Rookie of the Year by ESPN. . She is the only player in Texas women’s basketball history with at least 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 steals and 150 blocks.

“Tiffany had a great career and was an impact player,” said Jody Conradt, the former Texas women’s basketball coach who retired after Jackson’s senior season. “She was recognized for her all-around game and the fact that she was extremely mobile and could play in multiple positions. She was loved by her teammates and we share the sadness of her passing.

Jackson, a 6-foot-3 forward, was drafted by the New York Liberty and spent three seasons with the team before being traded to the Tulsa Shock in 2010. His best professional season, averaging 12.4 points and 8.4 rebounds, came in 2011 with the Shock.

Jackson was discovered to have breast cancer in 2015, and with her cancer in remission, she played one more season in the WNBA with Los Angeles in 2017. She retired at 32 and served as an assistant coach. for two years in Texas.

Jackson had been playing in Israel during the WNBA offseason when she found a small bump in early 2015. She saw a doctor upon her return to Dallas but did not have a mammogram, she said later to ESPN, as the WNBA season was about to begin. . She got worried when she noticed it was changing. Married at the time, Jackson was the mother of a young boy and had 16 chemotherapy treatments.

“My little boy is 3 years old and he doesn’t really understand what’s going on” she told ESPN in 2016. “He just knows that some days he stays with granny, then he will ask me what kind of bandage I got from the doctor. They give me different ones with Spider-Man or Scooby-Doo on them, and my son loves them. My husband works in East Texas so he has a long commute. There is a lot to manage. »

Jackson used his stage 3 diagnosis to try to raise awareness of the disease.

“You hear ‘breast cancer’ and you think you understand it,” she told ESPN. “But you don’t really understand it until it touches you closer.” Or he hits home.

“It was something that wasn’t even on my mind, really. So I feel like just knowing there is a possibility will help people. I wish I had known more. J I’ve talked about it in schools and colleges. Especially with the African American community. Because we don’t get as many early checkups. So we’re diagnosed at stage 3 or stage 4, and we die at higher rates So I preached, preached, preached it.”

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