Last season, the Seton Hall women’s basketball team welcomed two transfers to the program.
One of them, Shakena Richardson, would go on to become the first women’s basketball player in Seton Hall history to get drafted into the WNBA.
Now, the other transfer is ready to make her name known.
JaQuan Jackson, or “Quanny,” as her teammates and coaches call her, will assume the role of the Pirates’ starting shooting guard this season.
Jackson was a consensus top-150 recruit coming out of Harker Heights High School in Texas. A four-time all-district selection, she initially chose to attend Louisiana Tech.
She was able to make an instant impact as a rookie. Named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team, she set the Louisiana Tech record for three-pointers made in a season (51).
The instant impact that Jackson was able to make at Louisiana Tech is something that she’ll be looking to replicate in her first season at Seton Hall.
“My freshman year at Louisiana Tech I put up a lot of numbers,” Jackson said. “I’ve grown a lot since my freshman year, so I can’t wait to see what I can do this season.”
Despite her success at Louisiana Tech, Jackson decided to transfer after her sophomore year. She said her comfort on the court, among other reasons, contributed to her departure.
A free agent in the college ranks, a host of schools showed interest after Jackson announced her intentions to transfer. Seton Hall stood out among all of them.
“When I came to this program, a lot of things changed,” Jackson said. “I could play the way I wanted to and do the things that I wanted to do and just be myself.”
In addition to comfort, Jackson wanted to put herself in the best position to win. In her time at Louisiana Tech, her team had a cumulative 28-35 record. In Seton Hall, she saw a place where she could do just that.
“I’ve always wanted to win,” Jackson said. “I’ve always wanted to go to the NCAA Tournament and coming here was a great chance for me.”
In accordance with NCAA transfer rules, Jackson was forced to sit out last season. Shooting has always come natural to her, so she took the year off to improve other aspects of her game. She said she made it a point to learn how to read different defenses and work on her decision making. She also said she has used her time on the sidelines to pick up on her teammates’ habits.
Jackson first showed that the work had paid off on Nov. 5. She dropped 31 points in an exhibition game against Philadelphia University, highlighted by four three-pointers.
Head coach Tony Bozzella credited Jackson’s improvements to her work ethic.
“I thought JaQuan practiced fine last year,” Bozzella said. “Not great, not bad. This year, she has practiced great and that shows a lot of maturity. I’m very confident in her abilities because of her work ethic and how hard she’s worked.”
Now, as the Pirates prepare to open their season, Jackson’s practice habits and skill sets have set her apart.
With Richardson gone, she’s no longer the other transfer.
Tyler Calvaruso can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.