🏀 Taiyanna Jackson Named to Lisa Leslie Award Preseason Watch List

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas super-senior Taiyanna Jackson is one of 20 preseason candidates for the Lisa Leslie Award, which recognizes the top center in women’s NCAA Division I College basketball.

Named after the three-time All-American, 1994 National Player of the Year and Class of 2015 Hall of Famer, the award is presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.

Jackson becomes the second Jayhawks chosen to a preseason watch list, joining Zakiyah Franklin who was named one of 20 preseason candidates for the Nancy Leiberman Award, which recognizes the top point guard in the country.

Jackson is in her third season at Kansas and returns following a record-setting campaign in 2022-23. She was a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection after becoming the first Kansas player since 1981-82 to average a double-double, totaling 15.2 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. Jackson became the first Jayhawk since 2014 to be receive All-America Honorable Mention recognition from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and was named the MVP of the WNIT after leading the Jayhawks to the tournament championship.

From East Chicago, Indiana, Jackson finished the season with 23 double-doubles, the third-most in KU history, and ranked second in school history with 66.1 percent field goal percentage, which ranked fourth nationally.  She scored in double figures 30 times in 36 games, with six games of 20-plus points, and ranked third in NCAA Division I in rebounds per game. Jackson continued to establish herself as a premier post presence defensively, setting KU’s single-season school record with 109 blocked shots, surpassing her previous record of 95 from the 2021-22 season. She was a two-time Big 12 Player of the Week last season and led the league in rebounds, blocked shots, field goal percentage and double-doubles.

Jackson is one of five players from the Big 12 on the Lisa Leslie Award watch list, joining Taylor Jones (Texas), Ayoka Lee (Kansas State), Sedona Prince (TCU) and Liz Scott (Oklahoma).

This list will be narrowed down to 10 in late January, with plans to announce a group of five finalists in late March. The winner of this award, as well as presentation details, will be announced towards the end of the season.

Kansas opens the 2023-24 season on Wednesday, Nov. 8, against Northwestern State, the first of five non-conference home games at Allen Fieldhouse. Season tickets for the upcoming campaign are now on sale for as low as $90, and season tickets are now on sale with prices ranging from $8-$15. Fans can reserve their seat by visiting KUAthletics.com or calling 800-34-HAWKS.

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