Tiffany Jackson, former WNBA 1st-round pick and Texas legend, dies at 37 after battle with breast cancer

Tiffany Jackson, a Texas women's basketball legend who was drafted fifth overall in the 2007 WNBA draft, died Monday after a battle with breast cancer, the school announced. She was 37.

Jackson played at the University of Texas under Hall of Fame head coach Jody Conradt from 2003-07. In her rookie year, Jackson was named the National Freshman of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and Big-12 Freshman of the year.

"Tiffany had a great career and was an impact player," 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 three-time All-American and was first-team all-conference three times at Texas. She led the Longhorns to the NCAA Sweet 16 during her rookie campaign. She is the only person in program history to have achieved a combined 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 steals and 150 blocks.

Found near the top of Longhorn Basketball record books, Jackson was selected by the New York Liberty and player three full seasons there before getting traded to Tulsa during her fourth. Playing with the Tulsa Shock through 2015, she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Jackson left the WNBA in 2016, returned in 2017 with Los Angeles Sparks and retired at 32. She served as assistant coach at Texas for two years.

"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."

Contact Analis Bailey at or on Twitter @analisbailey.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tiffany Jackson, former WNBA 1st-round pick and Texas legend, dies