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Lady Vols’ Rickea Jackson Selected Top Five in WNBA Draft

Rickea Jackson
Tennessee forward Rickea Jackson. Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee forward Rickea Jackson is the Lady Vols’ fourth straight Top 10 WNBA Draft selection and the first Top 5 pick since Diamond DeShields in the 2018 WNBA Draft.

On Monday night, Jackson was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks with the fourth overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft. Iowa standout guard Caitlin Clark went No. 1 overall to the Indiana Fever followed by Stanford center Cameron Brink to the Los Angeles Sparks, South Carolina guard Kamilla Cardoso to the Chicago Sky, and Tennessee forward Rickea Jackson to the Sparks.

CBS Sports’ Jack Maloney gave the Sparks an “A” grade for selecting Jackson.

Jackson is the fourth Lady Vol to be drafted in consecutive years.

Rennia Davis was selected with the 9th overall pick in 2021, Rae Burrell went 9th overall in 2022, and Jordan Horston went 9th overall in 2023. Jackson, the final Kellie Harper-era player to be drafted, went fourth overall in 2024.

More from RTI: What New Lady Vols’ Coach Kim Caldwell’s Path to Tennessee Looked Like

Jackson will team up with Burrell in Los Angeles, though the two never shared the court together at Tennessee. Burrell went to the WNBA in the same offseason that Jackson transferred to Tennessee from Mississippi State.

LVFL Candace Parker was drafted by Los Angeles with the first overall pick in 2008 and helped lead the Sparks to her first WNBA Championship in 2016, where she was also named the WNBA Finals MVP.

Jackson, a native of Detroit, Michigan, played at Mississippi State for her first three seasons of college basketball after being named a McDonald’s All-American and the Gatorade Michigan Player of the Year in 2019. Jackson then transferred to Tennessee for her final two seasons, finishing her five-year career at both programs with 2,261 points and 773 rebounds.

“Playing at Tennessee and Mississippi State, it’s prepared me for this moment because life isn’t just trials and tribulations, but how you get through those, and I feel like I’ve overcome a lot of adversity,” Jackson said after being drafted, courtesy of UT Athletics. “I’ve continued to stay strong, and that’s what got me to where I am today.”

Here’s a look at all of the media content to come out of Jackson’s fourth overall selection to the Los Angeles Sparks in the 2024 WNBA Draft on Monday night:

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