Women’s History Month: 10 Questions with Brittany Jackson, “Brittany Jackson Basketball Academy”/Former Tennessee Lady Vol ’01-‘05
Added by Shannon Hovan on March 20, 2013.
Everyday this month, Double G Sports will be featuring interviews from prominent women in the sports industry as our way of celebrating Women’s History Month. This project is in its 2nd year. Today we feature a Q&A with Brittany Jackson, former Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball Star.
Brittany Jackson, center. (May 11, 2012 - Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images North America)
1. Who or what had the most influence on you growing up as a female athlete?
Growing up my family influenced me the most. My Dad is in the Hall of Fame for wrestling and my Mom is in the Hall of Fame for basketball, so I grew up in a very athletic family. Other than them, Michael Jordan was the basketball idol that I looked up to.
2. What was it about the University of Tennessee that convinced you it was the right place to live out your college career?
Being from Tennessee I grew up watching the Lady Vols and Pat Summit. I always wanted to play for them. It was like a dream come true to go on my visit there and be recruited by Pat. I went on other visits, but there was no real competition.
3. What one game from your college career stands out the most in your memory?
There was a game my freshman year where I came in off of the bench and scored 25 points. Coming in as a freshman you don’t really know where you fit or what to expect. So, up until that game I was playing a little off of the bench. And after that game I started starting. I would say that that game changed my career.
4. Is there a piece of advice, or a conversation you had with Coach Summitt while you were at Tennessee that resonates with you today?
Pat taught us so much on and off the court; things that you don’t even notice until after you graduate. I don’t know if it’s just one conversation, but overall the discipline and character she instilled is something that you take and use in every day life. I appreciate it more now that I have graduated.
5. You have played basketball at every level and all over the globe. In what part of your career would you say you grew the most as a player and person: In college, playing abroad professionally or playing in the states professionally?
I don’t know if many people realize, but the majority of your basketball career as women is overseas. Playing overseas and playing here in the WNBA I think is when I grew the most. You quickly realize that you won’t play in front of 26,000 people again like you might have in college in a Final Four. You realize that it is a business and no one is around like in college to hold your hand or tell you where to be. It’s a whole new experience and you’re on your own.
6. Let’s talk a bit about your basketball academy (Brittany Jackson Basketball Academy). What inspired you to get it up and running?
I’ve always wanted to start a basketball academy in my area. I was very fortunate growing up that I had a family who supported me in playing basketball and taught me the fundamentals. I wanted to set something up in my area where young kids could learn the fundamentals and get that initial skill set. Last year seemed like the best time for me to get that going.
7. What impact has it had on you personally?
It’s a hard transition realizing that your basketball career might be over, so to be able to pass on the skills that I’ve learned throughout my playing career to kids to take with them throughout their basketball careers is great. It really has kept me going, giving them the knowledge I’ve learned from all the great coaches that I’ve had.
8. How important is it for you to take the camp all over the country? Why not just stay in one place?
I travel all around essentially from the contacts I’ve made throughout my professional career. It’s great to travel all over and see the participation of young girls and boys and also to see that there is support from Lady Vol fans everywhere I go.
9. Have you thought about the possibility of coaching in the future?
I have thought about it. My major at Tennessee was broadcasting so I’ve done that throughout the last three or four years while playing and doing the camps. This year I want to focus on my TV career, but yes I have thought about coaching.
10. It has not been very long since you played your college basketball. Would you say the game is different today in terms of playing style and the athletes? And, what gets you most excited about the future of Women’s Basketball?
I look at the Lady Vols team today as an example, and I just think the game is getting faster, faster paced, with more pure scorers and shooters. The girls are more athletic now as well. Within the women’s game now girls are able to go places and make an impact easier because there are far more programs who are competing for the National Championship every year. When I was playing in the early 2000’s, it was pretty much Tennessee and UCONN. Now more programs are competing and it is making the women’s game far more exciting.