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🏀 Taiyanna Jackson Selected by Connecticut Sun in WNBA Draft

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (KUAthletics.com) – Kansas super-senior center Taiyanna Jackson will begin her professional career as a member of the Connecticut Sun. The Sun selected Jackson Monday night in the second round of the 2024 WNBA Draft at pick No. 19.

Jackson becomes the eighth all-time WNBA Draft pick in Kansas Women’s Basketball history and the first since Chelsea Gardner was the 21st pick of the Indiana Fever in 2015. She’s the fourth Jayhawk to be selected in the second round of the WNBA Draft.

A three-time Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection, Jackson set the school record for blocked shots with 301 over the course of her time at Kansas. She surpassed the previous single-season record in each of her three seasons, including a record 109 during the 2021-22 season. During the 2023-24 season, Jackson ranked third in the nation with 97 blocks, an average of 3.0 per game.

Jackson averaged a double-double in both of her final two seasons at Kansas, becoming the first Jayhawk since 1982 to accomplish the feat over the course of an entire season. In 2023-24, she was second on the team in scoring at 12.6 points per game, while pulling down 10.0 rebounds per game. She recorded 14 double-doubles in her final season at KU, giving her 41 for her career, which ranks second in Kansas women’s basketball history behind only the legendary Lynette Woodard.

A native of East Chicago, Indiana, Jackson departs Kansas with her name scattered throughout the record books. In addition to ranking as the program’s all-time leader in blocked shots (301) and field goal percentage (.620), Jackson is No. 2 in career double-doubles (41) and games with 10 or more rebounds (50). She’s also No. 3 in program history with 1,027 career rebounds and No. 23 on the all-time scoring list with 1,227 career points.

Jackson leaves behind a legacy that includes being a three-time All-Big 12 selection while at Kansas, including First Team All-Big 12 nods in each of the past two seasons. She is also a two-time All-America Honorable Mention selection by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and a two-time Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist.

In 2022-23, Jackson was a candidate for the Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award, and she was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2023 WNIT. Jackson was twice named the Big 12 Player of the Week during the 2023-24 season, and she earned the honor four times in her Kansas career, which matched Danielle McCray and Chelsea Gardner for the most by a KU player in conference history.

Jackson will next report for training camp with Connecticut, which begins on April 28, before preseason games begin on May 3. Final rosters for the 2024 WNBA season will be set on May 13, with the regular season set to tip off on May 14. Jackson will compete for a spot on the roster and attempt to become the first Kansas Jayhawk to appear on a regular season WNBA roster since Angel Goodrich played in 23 games for the Seattle Storm during the 2015 season.

Kansas All-Time WNBA Draft Picks
2024, Round 2, Pick 19 – Taiyanna Jackson, Connecticut Sun
2015, Round 2, Pick 21 – Chelsea Gardner, Indiana Fever
2013, Round 3, Pick 29 – Angel Goodrich, Tulsa Shock
2010, Round 1, Pick 7 – Danielle McCray, Connecticut Sun
2001, Round 3, Pick 42 – Jaclyn Johnson, Orlando Miracle
2000, Round 1, Pick 7 – Lynn Pride, Portland Fire
2000, Round 2, Pick 25 – Charisse Sampson, Seattle Storm
1997, Round 2, Pick 14 – Tamecka Dixon, Los Angeles Sparks