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WNBA’s Tiffany Jackson dies at 37 after battle with breast cancer

Tiffany Jackson played nine seasons in the WNBA after a standout career at Texas. (Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former WNBA player and Texas basketball legend Tiffany Jackson died Monday after a seven-year battle with breast cancer, the University of Texas announced. She was 37 years old.

“Tiffany had a great career and was an impact player,” her former coach, Jody Conradt, said in a press release. “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.”

From 2003-07, Jackson appeared in 123 games and made 103 starts for the Longhorns. The forward is the only player in program history to record 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 steals and 150 blocks. Her 1,917 career points are the fifth most in school history, and her 1,039 career rebounds are fourth all-time.

Jackson was drafted fifth overall by the New York Liberty in 2007 and went on to play nine seasons in the WNBA. During her WNBA career, Jackson completed her degree in Applied Learning Development and officially graduated from Texas in 2013.

As an assistant coach on the Longhorns staff in 2018, Jackson helped develop Texas standouts and current WNBA players Joyner Holmes and Charli Collier.

Collier, the 2021 No. 1 pick of the Dallas Wings, took to Twitter to mourn the passing of her former coach, writing, “Speechless, R.I.P. Love you coach always.”

Jackson was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2015, and despite her battle with the disease, she continued to play professionally. Playing in Israel when she was diagnosed, Jackson returned to the Los Angeles Sparks in February 2017. Her best season in the WNBA came with the Tulsa Shock in 2011, when she averaged a career-high 12.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and two assists across 34 games.

Jackson was the current head coach of the women’s basketball team at Wiley College, an NAIA school in Marshall, Texas.

“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,” said current Texas coach Vic Schaefer. “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.”