Sparks Select Jackson Fourth In WNBA Draft

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Rickea Jackson draft
Photo by UT Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Rickea Jackson became the fourth consecutive Tennessee Lady Vol taken in the first round over the past four years of the WNBA Draft, with the 6-foot-2 forward going to the Los Angeles Sparks with the No. 4 overall pick in the first round.

It marked the first time in school history that UT had players selected in the first round in four straight seasons. The previous high was three first-round picks in 2001 (Tamika Catchings), 2002 (Michelle Snow) and 2003 (Gwen Jackson, Kara Lawson), which was tied with the run from 2021-23.  Tennessee is only the third school all-time to accomplish a four-year streak, joining UConn (2008-11, 2013-16) and Notre Dame (2012-15).

Jackson’s selection was the highest by a Lady Vol since Diamond DeShields was taken at No. 3 by the Chicago Sky in 2018. The Detroit native became the 19th all-time Lady Vol first-round selection in the collegiate draft (21st including the elite draft), following in the footsteps of No. 9 picks Rennia Davis (Minnesota Lynx, 2021), Rae Burrell (Los Angeles Sparks, 2022) and Jordan Horston (Seattle Storm, 2023) over the past three drafts.

Overall, Tennessee now has had 44 all-time selections in WNBA college drafts and 46 total including elite drafts. The four-time All-America honorable mention selection and three-time All-SEC performer is the Big Orange program’s 18th top-10 choice (20th including elite) and ninth top-five pick (10th including elite).

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