WNBA star Tiffany Jackson, a standout on the University of Texas women’s basketball team, died Monday from cancer at age 37, her alma mater announced.
Jackson had a decorated career, having risen to stardom during her time at the University of Texas from 2003 to 2007 and breaking into the WNBA as the No. 5 pick in the 2007 draft. After nine seasons, she returned to her alma mater as an assistant coach, the university said in a statement announcing her death.
Jackson was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in September 2015, the school said.
Following treatment in May 2016, she was told her cancer was in remission and returned to the court. She retired in May 2018 and joined the Longhorns as an assistant coach, and she was hired as head coach at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, in April.
Texas women’s basketball coach Vic Schaefer hailed Jackson as “one of the greatest players in the history of Texas Women’s Basketball.”
“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,” he said in the statement. “She will be sorely missed by so many. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family.”
Wiley College President Herman J. Felton Jr. remembered Jackson as "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,” he said.
The WNBA also mourned her death writing on social media: "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."
In her stellar college basketball career, she ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press Poll in her freshman season and was named the National Freshman of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and ESPN. She was also a four-time member of the All-Big 12 Conference Team, the university said in its statement.
In the WNBA, she played for nine seasons with the New York Liberty, the Tulsa Shock and the Los Angeles Sparks.
Funeral services are pending.