Oct. 15, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Sarah Sherman
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - When you first meet Briahanna Jackson you might not expect her to be the explosive basketball star that she is. It is true though, when they say that big things come in small packages. Standing at 5-foot-4, she is usually one of the shortest players on the court.
Jackson is not only a force to be reckoned with on the hardwood, but she performs well in the classroom too, earning UCF Athletics Student-Athlete of the Month honors for September.
A sophomore majoring in criminal justice, Jackson's interest in forensic science grew out of watching shows like Law and Order and Dexter.
"I was talking to someone about what I wanted to do and she told me about how when someone gets killed, you can find out where the blood came from, how it happened, and stuff like that. It sounds so cool to me," she said.
She recently began introductory courses in criminal justice. So far, Jackson has studied how the court systems operate. She has also gained a further understanding of criminal behavior, illegal drug use and other crimes.
Jackson takes pride in her work in the classroom and was pleasantly surprised that the athletic department took notice and named her student of the month.
"That's awesome," Jackson said. "I didn't even know I was up for it. It's important to me to keep my GPA up and to do well in school, period."
Jackson also showcases her competitive, hardworking, goal-driven nature in all things basketball. She started her college career off by being named Conference USA's Freshman of the Year in 2012-13. It's somewhat ironic that Jackson is majoring in criminal justice and studying criminal behavior, considering she's an adept, experienced thief on the basketball court. Jackson broke a 15-year-old Conference USA record for single season steals by a freshman- and also set UCF's school record for thefts - with 108 last season.
Jackson led her team to the C-USA Championship game by hitting a team-best 11 3-pointers during the league tournament.
"Last year before the season started I set two goals, to be freshman of the year and to get to the conference championship. This year, I want to be player of the year and I want to win the championship," Jackson said.
Now that UCF has shifted to the American Athletic Conference with heavy hitters like UConn and Louisville, who played for the national championship last year, Jackson's confidence has not wavered in the slightest. A preseason all-league selection, she believes that she and her teammates have what it takes to win.
"I go hard in everything because I want to be the best," Jackson said. "Every little thing counts. You've got to train hard because everyone else out there is doing it too. It's going to be competitive, so I'm looking forward to it."