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UT Basketball Legend Tiffany Jackson Dies From Cancer at 37

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Former WNBA player and star at the University of Texas, Tiffany Jackson | Image by Getty Images

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Former WNBA player and star at the University of Texas, Tiffany Jackson, died from cancer on Monday at age 37.

Jackson’s alma mater announced her death. She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2015.

“Tiffany had a great career and was an impact player,” former Longhorns head coach Jody Conradt said. “She was recognized for her all-around game and the fact that she was tremendously mobile and could play multiple positions. She was beloved by teammates, and we share in the sadness of her passing.”

Jackson was a star with the Texas women’s basketball team from 2003 to 2007. She averaged 15.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in 123 appearances.

Jackson is the only player in Longhorns history with at least 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 steals, and 150 blocks in their career. She was a three-time All-Big 12 selection and was voted the national freshman of the year by the U.S Basketball Writers Association in 2004.

Jackson also served as an assistant on the Longhorns staff for four seasons through the 2020-21 season, staying on the staff even through a head coaching change.

Wiley College in Marshall, TX, had hired Jackson as its new head women’s basketball coach in April.

“We were extremely saddened at the passing of Coach Jackson; she was an incredible light for our students and an amazing member of the Wiley College family. Her dedication to Wiley College was evident in how she interacted with the students and her community. She will be sorely missed. We are praying for her family and friends,” said Wiley College’s President & CEO Herman J. Felton, Jr.

Professionally, Jackson was selected by the New York Liberty as the No. 5 pick in the 2007 WNBA draft.

After three-plus seasons with the Liberty, Jackson was traded to the Tulsa Shock in June 2010. She had her best season in 2011 with the Shock, averaging 12.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in 34 games.

Jackson sat out the 2016 WNBA season to undergo cancer treatment. She managed to return to the court for one final season, signing with the Los Angeles Sparks in February 2017 after her cancer went into remission.

The Tulsa Shock franchise, with whom Jackson played four of her nine WNBA seasons, relocated to DFW in the summer of 2015, officially becoming the Dallas Wings.

After Jackson’s passing, the Wings shared their condolences and put out the following statement on their social media pages:

“A Texas legend. A member of our WNBA family. A mom, daughter, teammate, mentor, and friend. Your impact will be remembered forever.”

Jackson’s ties to DFW go even further. She attended Duncanville High School, where she was a member of the 2003 Duncanville Girls Basketball State Championship team.

“Tiffany Jackson was an amazing mother, daughter, friend, teammate and role model for so many,” said DHS head girls basketball coach LaJeanna Howard, who grew up playing basketball with Jackson in Duncanville ISD. They were teammates on the championship team.

Jackson prioritized giving back to the Duncanville ISD community and regularly attended playoff games and tournaments.

“She would go to schools to speak and give our young girls nuggets of wisdom that they could carry with them through a lifetime,” Howard said. “She will be dearly missed throughout the community.”

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson shared a photo he took with Jackson during Oklahoma-Texas football weekend last year. He said he had hoped to see Jackson again this weekend when the Longhorns and Sooners face off for their annual meeting on the gridiron.

“She lit up a room,” Johnson said.

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