Tiffany Jackson, the former WNBA star and recently hired head basketball coach at Wiley College, has died at the age of 37. She lost her battle with breast cancer, according to local news outlet CBS19.
Jackson was hired by Wiley College in April and had already established herself as a valued member of the Wildcat athletics program.
Bruce Peifer, the Associate Vice President of Athletics at the renowned HBCU said that Jackson greatly impacted the lives of the young ladies she coached even in such a short amount of time.
“Coach Jackson became a valued member of the Wildcat family the day she stepped on campus,” said Peifer. “She greatly impacted the lives of our young ladies. We send our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends.”
After taking the position this spring, Jackson told KLTV “I’m just excited about all the history, the culture here; that was really important to me in making my decision to come.”
Jackson made her mark on both the collegiate and professional levels before arriving at Wiley College. At her alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, Jackson was the 2004 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, a four-time member of the All-Big 12 Conference Team, including a three-time first-team selection, and one of three three-time All-Americans in school history.
She was drafted with the fifth overall pick in the 2007 WNBA draft to the New York Liberty. She would also play with the Tulsa Shock and LA Sparks before retiring in 2018.
“We are deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Tiffany Jackson, one of the greatest players in the history of Texas women’s basketball,” Texas head coach Vic Schaefer said. “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. I know she was so excited to be the head coach at Wiley College for the upcoming season. She will be sorely missed by so many. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family.”
Jackson was first diagnosed in September 2015 with stage 3 cancer. Following treatments, she received the news that in May of 2016 her cancer was in remission. This allowed Jackson to return to the court and share her courageous journey with the world.
Many people to this day are inspired by Jackson and how she fought a disease that has impacted so many lives.
“One of the first college basketball games that my sisters and I ever went to was at the University of Texas … and Tiffany Jackson immediately inspired all,” Los Angeles Sparks player star Chiney Ogwumike said in a Twitter post. “May her soul rest in peace, sending love to her family.”
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