Duncanville ISD, along with coaches and teammates mourn the loss of alumna and Pantherette Tiffany Jackson, who lost her battle with cancer this week. Jackson was a member of the 2003 Duncanville Girls Basketball State Championship team. She graduated from Duncanville High School as a McDonald’s All-American and the State Farm/WBCA High School Player of the Year in 2003. In 2017, the district named her an Athletic Hall of Honor inductee alongside her former high school coach Cathy Self-Morgan.
Jackson enjoyed a remarkable career, playing for the University of Texas women’s basketball team from 2004-2007 with 103 starts. She was selected in the first round of the 2007 WNBA draft by the New York Liberty, playing there until 2010 when she was acquired by the Tulsa Shock. Jackson then played for the Los Angeles Sparks until she retired from the WNBA. In 2018, she became an assistant coach for the University of Texas. In April 2022, she was named head coach at Wiley College.
Tiffany Jackson Tributes
“Tiffany Jackson was an amazing mother, daughter, friend, teammate and role model for so many,” said DHS head girls basketball coach LaJeanna Howard, who grew up playing basketball with Jackson in Duncanville ISD. They even played together on the 2003 Duncanville Girls Basketball State Championship team. Throughout her career, Jackson made it a habit to give back to the Panther community.”
“She would go to schools to speak and give our young girls nuggets of wisdom that they could carry with them through a lifetime,” Howard said. Jackson would also show her support for the Pantherettes by going to playoff games and tournaments. She will be dearly missed throughout the community,” Howard said.
“Duncanville ISD is truly honored to call Tiffany Jackson a Panther. She was a shining example of servant leadership, and we are proud of who she was and what she accomplished,” said Superintendent Dr. Marc Smith. “Our prayers are with the Jackson family during this time.”
Duncanville Pantherette Coach Cathy Self-Morgan
Self-Morgan, who coached the 2003 State Championship team, said, “Our 2002-2003 team was going to be good but with Tiffany Jackson we were going to be very good. Prior to playoffs starting, we had a warm up game scheduled with a Texas school that had recently been named #1 in the country. They elected not to play us at the last minute so we were left without a warm-up game opponent.”
“We scheduled a game with a junior college. Lots of very big girls who were very intimidating. After a few minutes of play we were down and several of our players were sporting bruises or a cut lip in one case. Called time out and told them we did not have to play this game. Tiffany looked at me with fire in her eyes and said “don’t you dare.”
“Our girls got on board with Tiffany’s attitude and we went on to win fairly handily. Went on from there to win the 5A state championship. Tiffany was an ultra-competitive athlete with an extremely high basketball IQ. She was a great player on both ends of the floor and absolutely hated to lose. She was a great leader and helped lead the 2003 Pantherettes to a State Championship.”
“I was fortunate to have been her coach and even more blessed to know her and her family. Tiffany Jackson was one of a kind and was loved dearly by me and all Pantherettes,” Self-Morgan added.
Pantherette Teammate Destanie Okwumabu
Oksumabu, a Pantherette teammate and friend, said, “Tiff was special. Point blank. We all knew that about her. From the way she carried herself to how she played. Whether spectator, classmate, teammate, or opponent, everyone remembers the first time they met her. As a teammate at Duncanville, although we were all pretty good, she pushed us to be better. Off the court, she was just Tiff which is what I appreciated most about her. Looking back, we had so much fun as teammates but boy, did we do teenage girl stuff together! Although news about her passing brought great sadness, with each phone call comes a story of ‘remember that one time when’, *insert some ridiculous thing we did* that makes us all laugh.”
“Tiff is a Duncanville legend who will live forever in our hearts. She is part of the reason I am proud to be a Pantherette. Our group was a unique group who’s bond truly started in fifth grade with DYBA (Duncanville Youth Basketball Association), to being the “Twin Towers” at Byrd Middle School, to winning a state title and breaking the record for the largest point difference in a championship game in our division, to being Big XII opponents in college. To share those memories with her is absolutely priceless and she will forever be missed.”
Memorial for Tiffany Jackson
A Memorial Celebration of Life for Tiffany Elavie Nicole Jackson will be held Saturday, Oct. 22 at 11 a.m. at Freedom Missionary Baptist Church, 3715 S. Westmoreland Road in Dallas.