Jackson Selected in Expansion Draft
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Fever forward Deanna Jackson was among 13 players selected Wednesday by the Chicago Sky, as the WNBA’s newest franchise took its first step toward assembling its inaugural roster.
Also joining Jackson as inaugural members of Chicago's first WNBA franchise are Jia Perkins (Charlotte), Brooke Wyckoff (Connecticut), Elaine Powell (Detroit), Kiesha Brown (Houston), Laura Macchi (Los Angeles), Stacey Lovelace (Minnesota), DeTrina White (New York), Ashley Robinson (Phoenix), Bernadette Ngoyisa (San Antonio), Chelsea Newton (Sacramento), Francesca Zara (Seattle), and Stacey Dales-Schuman (Washington).
A 6-2 forward who averaged 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game for the Fever last season, Jackson completed her fourth WNBA season last summer – two with the Fever and two with the former Cleveland Rockers. Jackson was acquired by Indiana as a dispersal draft selection when the Rockers disbanded after the 2003 campaign.
Jackson is a restricted free agent and retains the right to sign with another franchise if Chicago does not match another team’s offer for the 2006 season. Teams may begin talks with free agents beginning Jan. 15.
“I think Deanna’s got a great future ahead of her,” said Fever Chief Operating Officer/General Manager Kelly Krauskopf. “She’s a good young talent who was developing into a solid small forward. She played a tremendous role on our team as a backup to Tamika (Catchings) by helping us down the stretch of the 2005 season. I wish her all the best with her new team.”
“Going into the 2006 season, we are focused on rebuilding our frontcourt with the continued development of Ebony Hoffman and Kelly Schumacher,” added Krauskopf. Starting center Natalie Williams retired from the WNBA and Jurgita Streimikyte may not return due to her Lithuanian National Team commitment.
Jackson started much of the 2004 season for Indiana, and was a reserve behind Tamika Catchings in 2005. She was one of the Fever’s most valuable reserves during its run to the 2005 Eastern Conference Finals. Jackson was one of seven players to appear in every game for the Fever last year, and she averaged 13.9 minutes per game. Regarded as a defensive stopper and a slashing forward who is aggressive in driving to the basket, she has averaged 5.8 ppg and 2.6 rpg during four WNBA seasons.