On trash-talking, Texas' Tiffany Jackson says, "I have been known to talk a little noise every now and then. ... We have a lot of rivalries down at Texas, so it just depends on who we’re playing."
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CLEVELAND, April 2, 2007 — Tiffany Jackson personifies the state of Texas: big, tough and rugged. At least on the court. A four-year star for the Longhorns, Jackson is one of the more versatile power forwards in the country and is projected as a potential first-round pick in Wednesday's WNBA Draft.
A thoughtful, soft-spoken Jackson spoke recently with WNBA.com's Adam Hirshfield about her career at Texas and her hopes for the future in the WNBA.
Q. What will you remember most about your college experience at Texas?
Jackson: "My teammates. That was the best thing about it. I never thought I'd enjoy them as much as I did or that we'd have as much fun as we did."
Q. Tell me about Coach Conradt. What was your relationship like and how
did she help you at Texas?
Jackson: "She had a huge influence. She helped on the court, but when you step off the court, she brought so much else. She helped me to grow up and become a woman and be more responsible."
Q. What qualities and skills will you bring to whichever WNBA team drafts
Jackson: "I'm very versatile, I'm very athletic, so I think I'll bring a lot of energy and tenacity."
Q. What skill do you feel you still need to improve on at the next level?
Jackson: "My jump shot."
Q. Do you or did you have a favorite team growing up?
Jackson: "I'm from Texas, so I'd have to say Houston."
Q. Are there a specific WNBA teams you would like to play for?
Jackson: "At this point, I don't really care. I'm ready to get out of Texas, so another team would be OK with me. (Laughs.) Traveling wouldn't be so bad."
Q. Is there a current WNBA player you model your game after?
Jackson: "I'd have to say Tina Thompson, because she's really versatile. Swin Cash, too… she's really athletic."
Q. Which WNBA players are you most looking forward to playing with or against?
Jackson: "I'd really like to play with Diana (Taurasi) and Lisa (Leslie). I've talked to both of them before, but I've never played with them."
Q. What do you do when someone you are guarding is lighting you up? Has
that ever happened?
Jackson: (Laughs.) "Yes, it has. I try not to let them catch the ball. Because if you get it, I guess it's over, right? So I'd better not let you get it."
Q. Do you talk trash out on the court, maybe if you're the one lighting
it up on the offensive end?
Jackson: "I have been known to talk a little noise every now and then. It just depends on who we're playing. We have a lot of rivalries down at Texas, so it just depends on who we're playing."
Q. Can trash talk ever cross the line?
Jackson: "Yeah, there's a point you don't want to cross. You don't want to be too rude to the point where people just have hate toward you, so you have to do it in a nice way."
Q. What do you see as the most momentum-changing play in basketball?
Jackson: "A fast-break with a transition 3. It just kills to get a steal or a turnover, then come down the court and ping, hit a 3-pointer. It's a five-point swing right there."
Q. What should a WNBA fan know about you?
Jackson: "Hmmm, I'm funny, really fun, I play hard."
Q. What's your favorite way to relax off the court?
Jackson: "Shop! Yeah! It's very relaxing."
Q. What do you want to do after your basketball career?
Jackson: "I want to be an activist for inner-city children."
Q. Do you have any pregame rituals?
Jackson: "I pray every game during the national anthem."
Q. Do you have a source of inspiration?
Jackson: "I know there are people out there always trying to outdo me, so that's really what keeps me going. I just want to be on top."