June 16, 2007
Dionnah Jackson was a four-year letter winner, who left her mark as one of the most well-rounded athletes in Oklahoma women’s basketball history. While at OU she won numerous awards including: 2005 Kodak/ WBCA All-America honorable mention, 2005 All-Big 12 first team, 2003 and 2004 All-Big 12 second team and 2004 Big 12 Tournament MVP. Jackson was also named OU’s MVP, three of four seasons in crimson and cream.
Immediately following her career as a Sooner, Jackson was drafted by the Detroit Shock with the last pick in the first round of the 2005 WNBA Draft. The excitement of draft day wore off quickly when a lingering knee injury led to her being cut by the Shock before the season started.
That disappointment gave her the opportunity to come back to OU and finish her public relations degree, which she graduated with in December, 2005.
Following graduation Jackson gave the WNBA another shot with the Sacramento Monarchs, however fate had her going elsewhere. After a stint with the National Women’s Basketball League’s San Jose Spiders she headed to Switzerland in January, 2006, to begin a pro career overseas.
The point guard spent eight months in Switzerland before switching to a league in Greece, where she stayed for a couple of months.
It wasn’t until November, 2006, that Jackson finally found a home overseas. She played for Israel from November, 2006, through April, 2007. For Jackson it was all about finding her comfort zone in a foreign country.
“I loved Israel,” said Jackson. “There was good food, good weather and good basketball.”
Since April when Jackson and her Bnei Yehuda squad concluded their season, she has returned to Norman and is working summer camps for OU head coach Sherri Coale.
However, Jackson won’t be around long, come fall she will pack her bags for Israel once again.
“I am not discouraged. I am going to keep trying for the WNBA, but playing overseas is a great experience,” said Jackson, who was waived this April by the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. “The competition is good and the game is physical. It also gives me a chance to play against WNBA players.”
Jackson finished the season averaging 12.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists for Bnei Yehuda. She recently switched teams in the league, when she was signed by Maccabi Ashdod.
Jackson said for now she will play ball as long as her body will allow. Once the time comes to call it a career, she hopes to move to the other side of the game and give coaching a try.