Redhawks add assistant coach with impressive resume

Thursday, July 22, 2010
Dionnah Jackson, left, holds up a Detroit Shock jersey with WNBA President Donna Orender after the Shock selected her as their first-round pick during the 2005 WNBA draft. Jackson will be an assistant coach at Southeast Missouri State this season. (AP file photo)

A former standout collegiate and professional player is joining the Southeast Missouri State women's basketball coaching staff.

Southeast coach John Ishee on Wednesday announced the addition of Dionnah Jackson as an assistant.

Jackson starred at Oklahoma before being selected in the first round of the 2005 WNBA draft. She has played both in the WNBA and overseas.

"I think it's a great hire. Dionnah will be a tremendous addition to our program," Ishee said.

Jackson recently completed a four-year professional playing career overseas. She averaged 15.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for a team in Israel this past season. She also has played for squads in Switzerland and Greece.

Jackson, a St. Louis native who attended Parkway West High School, played four seasons at Oklahoma, including the last three as the starting point guard.

Jackson, a three-time team captain at Oklahoma, ranks in the top 10 in 17 of the Sooners' 22 all-time records lists. She had career averages of 11.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.1 steals.

Jackson averaged 14.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.2 steals to earn first-team all-Big 12 Conference honors as a senior after garnering second-team accolades her junior and sophomore seasons. She was an honorable mention All-American and national player of the year finalist as a senior.

Jackson's freshman season saw her play a key role in Oklahoma's first Final Four appearance that ended with a loss in the national championship game.

"Not many student-athletes get to experience what Dionnah has from the standpoint of playing in the Final Four and for a national championship, being a first-round draft pick in the WNBA and playing professionally abroad," Ishee said. "Her credentials and what she offers us speak for themselves, but more importantly she brings impressive character.

"The great thing about her is she's very humble and down to earth. What's impressive about her is her attitude, her willingness to want to learn."

Jackson is no stranger to Southeast women's basketball as the Redhawks played at Oklahoma twice during her college career. The Sooners easily won both times.

Jackson, the Missouri player of the year as a Parkway West senior in 2001, said in a release that she is appreciative of the opportunity to join the Redhawks.

"I especially would like to thank coach Ishee for having faith and confidence in me," said Jackson, who graduated from Oklahoma with a degree in mass communications. "My goal is to learn everything I can and I feel coach Ishee will help me accomplish that."

Jackson replaces La Kea Jones, who recently left Southeast to become an assistant at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Ishee said he hopes to round out his staff soon by finding a replacement for Jayme Callahan, who recently left to become an assistant at La Salle.

Ishee's lone remaining assistant, Elizabeth Cansdale, will be entering her third season.

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