July 25, 2012
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Jenna Marina
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Of the UCF women's basketball team's five incoming players for the 2012-13 season, only one is a freshman.
Most would consider life as the only rookie - and the shortest member of the team to boot at 5-foot-4 - a bit intimidating. Not Briahanna Jackson.
"The pressure is on me to perform as the only freshman," Jackson said. "I like that."
Born in Middletown, N.Y., Jackson said she has been playing basketball ever since she can remember. She started out competing on playgrounds with the boys before moving to Lecanto, Fla., in the sixth grade.
A few years later, she impressed as a sophomore guard for Lecanto High by averaging 21 points and 4.4 steals per game. A year later, she led the team to its first undefeated record in school history while averaging 18.6 points and 5.5 steals per game.
Jackson transferred to Freedom High School in Tampa for her senior year. Although she didn't suit up on the court, she had no problem showcasing her athleticism on the field as a member of the flag football team.
She shined as she broke school records for rushing yards (1,023) and rushing scores (18) in addition to her 18 passing touchdowns and 1,289 passing yards. She also became the first Patriot to boast 23 interceptions in a season.
Jackson said some of those juking moves will come in handy on the basketball court this season when she looks to help the Knights' depth in the backcourt.
"When you make your moves, you have to make them quick. Handling the ball is just like running, dodging tackles is just like crossing over on people," Jackson said. "I'm strong with the ball and I think I can bring a good drive game (to the basketball team). I can also help them (UCF) run because I'm fast and I like to run."
After graduating from Freedom in 2011, Jackson earned admittance to the IMG Basketball Academy and spent the past year taking classes and working on her skillset. The experience gave her a preview for what would be expected of her at UCF.
"It was just like college. The workouts were the same, the schedules were the same," Jackson said. "Coming here, I'm not struggling. Jumping into the weights was easy. I really liked IMG."
It only took one visit to UCF for the guard to know she had found her home for the next four years.
"The campus is beautiful and it's not too far from where my parents stay. I wanted to be close to home," Jackson said. "I was so excited to come to college. The competition is so much higher than high school, so I'm looking forward to it."