Last night at the WNBA Draft, the two-time reigning champion Las Vegas Aces selected Jackson State's defensive stalwart Angel Jackson with the 36th, and final, pick. Jackson made history as just the second HBCU player selected in the WNBA Draft in the past 20 years. The other player, ironically, was Ameshya Williams-Holliday, another Jackson State product who went to the Indiana Fever in 2022.

JSU head coach Tomekia Reed and Aces superstar A'ja Wilson congratulated Jackson soon after the selection.

Jackson's journey to the ‘W' began on the opposite side of the country from her HBCU. A native of Richmond, CA, she committed to the University of Southern California out of high school. She was a highly-rated recruit, earning a five-star label in ESPN's recruiting model and was the 37th overall prospect in the country in 2019. She was also a McDonald's All-American and played in the Jordan Brand Classic.

Jackson set a solid foundation in her freshman year at USC. Despite only starting three times, she played in 30 of USC's 35 games in the 2019-20 season. She averaged 7.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks. The next season, she increased to 11 starts but decreased to only 20 games played due to COVID. Her numbers didn't change too much; she increased to 7.6 points, 1.0 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.9 blocks.

Coming out of the pandemic, Jackson started to struggle with the Trojans. She only played 16 games with a career low average of 11.6 minutes per contest. At the end of the season, she entered the transfer portal and ended up at Jackson State.

As a Lady Tiger, Angel Jackson immediately took off. She averaged 9.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, and a whopping 2.5 blocks as she powered Jackson State to a 21-9 overall record. Jackson State also secured the SWAC regular season title after finishing with a 17-1 conference record. As Jackson earned her first Defensive Player of the Year award, everything seemed lined up for the Lady Tigers to grab a conference championship and head into March Madness. Southern University, though, had other plans. They upset Jackson State in the semifinals and went on to win it all against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Jackson and her Lady Tigers were on a revenge mission this past season, following their defeat to Southern. She had the best statistical season of her career and started in all 33 of Jackson State's games as they razed through the SWAC, going 18-0 and 26-7 overall. She also won another Defensive Player of the Year award and earned Second Team All-SWAC honors. Jackson secured the Lady Tigers' defensive end as they torched their opponents in the conference tournament. After defeating Alcorn State and winning the SWAC, Jackson State earned a #14 seed in the NCAA Tournament, matching them up against an eventual Final Four team, UConn. They lost to the Huskies, but Jackson still showed out, recording 13 points, four rebounds, and two blocks.

Getting drafted is only part of the battle. The WNBA is an extremely competitive league with a very limited amount of roster spots. Angel Jackson, though, has all the skill and talent to help the Las Vegas Aces compete for their third straight championship.