Back & Ready For Action

The Liberty’s “X-factor” is back at full strength and she’s hoping to be one of the pieces that helps bring New York to the next level this summer. 

Tiffany Jackson, just eight games into her comeback from a stress fracture that had kept her inactive since last year’s Olympic break, is feeling good and couldn’t be happier contributing on the court this season.

“No pain,” she said recently. “I am 100 percent.”

Jackson, who underwent surgery in January, was originally injured while playing for Challes-Eaux in France prior to the 2008 season. However, she was ready to go by training camp last May and played through the first 25 games before shutting herself down for the remainder of the season.

She was forced to sit out of last season’s memorable run to the Eastern Conference Finals, which would be very difficult for any young player to deal with, especially one in the midst of a breakout season. Through those 25 games, she was averaging a career best 8.3 points and a team high 5.7 rebounds per game. The Liberty lost in three games to the Shock, who eventually won the championship, as Jackson watched from the sideline.

“That was really tough,” said Jackson. “I’m such a tough competitor and I just love to compete. Just seeing my team battling against Connecticut and battling against Detroit, I just really wanted to be a part of that.”

Jackson doesn’t think she made a mistake by trying to play in the first half of last season, but felt like she was ready to play the full season. Now that she’s back in full force after rehabbing for several months in New York and Texas, she has shown signs of being the same player that she was last season. After a few rough outings to begin the season, she is finally back in basketball shape and her shot is falling.

“It’s really frustrating coming back from the beginning because you want to be like where you were when you left off,” Jackson said. “I wanted it to happen all at once, so the first couple of games really frustrated me. Now I’m starting to kind of find my shot.”

Jackson’s value to the Liberty has been seen so far this season. In the Liberty’s two wins she averaged 8.0 points and 4.5 rebounds. In last weekend's game in Indiana, she burst off the bench to grab a team-high nine boards.

That could explain why some say she’s the X-factor of the team.

“You never know, but you just always hope that you can contribute something,” she said.

By Mike Slane

Score tickets for the Liberty's 2009 campaign, happening all summer long at Madison Square Garden. For tickets, click here, visit The Garden Box Office or call 877-WNBA-TIX.