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KU center Taiyanna Jackson picked in 2nd round of 2024 WNBA Draft

School's blocks queen taken by the Connecticut Sun with the 19th overall selection

3 min read
KU center Taiyanna Jackson poses inside Allen Fieldhouse on media day in October of 2023. On Monday night, the departing KU senior was picked in the 2nd round of the 2024 WNBA draft by the Connecticut Sun. [Chance Parker photo]

Putting herself in elite company was a common part of Taiyanna Jackson’s career at Kansas.

And KU’s all-time blocks queen, who owns the program records for blocks in a game, in a season and in a career, joined a couple more elite groups on her way out the door.

Earlier this month, Jackson became the latest player in KU women’s basketball history to earn an All-American nod from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

And on Monday night, she became the latest KU women’s basketball player to be selected in the WNBA Draft.

Jackson was chosen as the No. 7 pick in the second round of the three-round draft — No. 19 overall — by the Connecticut Sun.

The KU center was in Lawrence on Monday night, hosting a draft party with friends, family and members of the KU program.

More from Jackson's final season with the Jayhawks...

• KU center Taiyanna Jackson wants more in 2024

• Monster outing in KU win over No. 4 Baylor a reminder of how dominant Taiyanna Jackson can be

• Kansas has a new blocks queen

• The Many Faces of Taiyanna Jackson

A native of East Chicago, Indiana, who played her last game with the Jayhawks in Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament last month, Jackson earned honorable mention recognition on the WBCA All-America team, making her one of the 52 best players in the country in the eyes of the organization.

She will forever be remembered as one of the best centers to ever play at KU.

She joins all-time KU greats Tamecka Dixon, Angela Aycock and Lynette Woodard (4 times) in earning WBCA All-American recognition and becomes the first Jayhawk since Angel Goodrich in 2014 to earn an honorable mention nod from the WBCA.

And she becomes the eighth all-time WNBA Draft pick in program history, and the first since Chelsea Gardner was the 21st pick of the Indiana Fever in 2015.
Although she fell short of some of her goals — like Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a deep run in the NCAA Tournament — Jackson helped lead the Jayhawks on a three-year run that was as good as the program has had in decades.

She earned all-Big 12 recognition during each of her three seasons in Lawrence and was named to the Big 12’s all-defensive team as well as a two-time semifinalist for national defensive player of the year.

The Jayhawks reached the NCAA Tournament and won an opening-round game twice in her three seasons at KU and won the WNIT title in the year they were left out.

While those team achievements and her memories of competing and bonding with her teammates always stood out, Jackson did all kinds of damage as an individual, as well.

She broke the old single season blocks record (88) in each of her three seasons, recording 95 blocks during the 2021-22 season, 109 in 2022-23 and 97 this past season. She also passed Lisa Tate’s career record by reaching 301 blocks in three seasons, which ranks fifth among active NCAA Division I players.

Also during her final act, Jackson averaged a double-double for the second year in a row, at 12.6 points per game and 10 rebounds. Her 41 career double-doubles rank second in KU history, behind only KU legend Lynette Woodard, and she became the first KU player to average a double-double for a season in 42 years.

Next up, 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

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