Former WNBA player Tiffany Jackson dies from breast cancer at 37

The University of Texas superstar played nine seasons in the pros for three franchises.

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Former WNBA player Tiffany Jackson passed away on Monday at age 37 after a battle with breast cancer, NBC News reports.

Jackson was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in September 2015. After treatment in 2016, the cancer went into remission.

The news of Jackson’s death was met with a number of statements of condolence.

Tiffany Jackson, at a University of Texas Longhorn press conference in 2018, died on Oct. 3, 2022 at the age of 37 after a battle with breast cancer. (YouTube screengrab)

The women’s basketball program is “mourning the loss” of the “Longhorn legend,” according to an article posted on the University of Texas at Austin (Texas) Athletics website. Jackson was a standout player during her time at the university, from 2003 to 2007.

The WNBA also expressed sympathy in a statement posted on Twitter. “We are saddened to learn of the passing of a member of our WNBA family, Tiffany Jackson. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tiffany’s family.”

Jackson entered the WNBA as the fifth overall draft pick in 2007, according to the Texas Athletics website. She played nine seasons for three franchises: the New York Liberty, the former Tulsa Shock and the Los Angeles Sparks.

She returned to the court after her cancer was in remission to play a final season with the Sparks in 2017, WFAA reports. Jackson retired at age 32. The Texas native would go on to spend two seasons serving as an assistant coach with the Longhorns. In April, she was hired as head coach at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. 

“Her dedication to Wiley College was evident in how she interacted with the students and her community, said Wiley College President Herman J. Felton Jr. in a statement, HBCU Gameday reports. “She will be sorely missed. We are praying for her family and friends.” 

By all accounts, Jackson had a storied career at Texas, according to the Texas Athletics website report. In 2003-2004, for instance, the U.S Basketball Writers Association and ESPN.com voted her National Freshman of the Year. She was a three-time All-American. She started in 103 of 123 games. She is the only Longhorn to date to achieve “the combined feat of 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 steals and 150 blocks.” She was also a four-time member of the All-Big 12 Conference Team.

“She was recognized for her all-around game and the fact that she was tremendously mobile and could play multiple positions,” said Jody Conradt, Jackson’s head coach during the deceased player’s four years with the Longhorns. “She was beloved by teammates, and we share in the sadness of her passing,” 

Current Texas women’s basketball head coach Vic Schaefer called Jackson “one of the greatest players in the history of Texas Women’s Basketball.”

Continued Schaefer, “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. 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.” 

A date for Jackson’s funeral services has not yet been announced.

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