Dec. 23, 2004
This is one in a series of profiles on finalists for the John Wooden Cup presented by Athletes for a Better World. The inaugural award will be presented to two distinguished athletes - one collegiate and one professional - that best display character, teamwork and citizenship as determined by the ABW John Wooden Cup Committee. Twelve athletes in both the collegiate and professional categories reached the semifinal round and the trophy will be presented in
By Mallory Carra
Special to CollegeSports.com
"I used to have a fear of speaking in public, so all of this really helped me with getting out of my shell,"
Since coming to
"It's a confidence thing, know what I'm saying?"
All her efforts have made her a finalist for the inaugural Wooden Cup, and her name is also on the list for some elite awards in women's hoops. She was selected to the Wooden Award Preseason All-American Team and as a preseason candidate for the State Farm Wade Trophy. Both awards recognize the top women's basketball player.
The nominations follow an exceptional 2003-04 season for
Her most recent nomination, though, is for the Wooden Cup and honors her community service efforts along with athletic achievements. Starting the season with this slew of nominations was a little overwhelming for Jackson, who called the attention "a big shock."
Off the court,
"They're a great reminder of my youth," she said. "They always have so many questions and they talk all the time. They know OU and the campus so well. They're always asking me who I know on the football and basketball teams, because they love all the OU players."
She and her teammates have also volunteered at the
"We do a lot of things to be a part of the community," she said. "Whenever we have extra time, we do it."
Jackson's other activities in the community include speaking at a church in Oklahoma City and serving as a master of ceremonies at its talent show last year. She has also helped build a house with Habitat for Humanity in the Norman area..
One way or another - either on the court, or in the public relations field -
"Either way, I want to help promote women's basketball when I graduate," she said.