Jackson's unusual way to lead Baylor's No. 1 women's goalie

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WACO, Texas (AP) – Chloe Jackson has taken an unusual path to becoming the starting goalkeeper for Baylor and coach Kim Mulkey.

Jackson was a graduate student last summer after two seasons as a shooting guard at LSU. She was an outstanding football player who also loved basketball in high school. If she did not participate in a rare earthquake, she could now play football for the country's highest basketball team.

& # 39; & # 39; Chloe was great to play with. … Being a leader is hard, as I am the leader of the third rope of this team. It's good to see that she can join a new team and play a lot of different games with a game system totally different from LSU, "said Baylor's teammate DiDi Richards. "It's cool to see that she can adapt to something so quickly."

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Big 12 leaders Baylor (17-1) Monday took first place in the AP women's basketball poll for the first time since the end of the 2012-13 regular season, when the Lady Bears were in the custody of the US goaltender. Odyssey Sims Brittney Griner, national player of the year. "Data-reactid =" 34 "> The last 12 led by Baylor (17-1) on Monday won AP Women's Basketball for the first time since the end of the 2012-13 regular season, when Lady Bears had Odyssey Sims, the American leader, and the national player of the year, Brittney Griner.

When Jackson left LSU for Baylor, she was looking for a chance to win a championship and prepare to play at a higher level.

"I never knew how much my role was going to be, but I knew what (Mulkey) wanted me to do, and I thought it would improve for the next level," Jackson said. "Obviously, play on the biggest stage at the elite level."

His intended role changed drastically in September, when second guard Alexis Morris was fired from the team for violating the team's rules.

Jackson is averaging 10.9 points, 6.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game. The Lady Bears were tied for the top of the national rankings with a 1.81 helper / turnover ratio and Jackson was 15th nationally with 2.78 – she got four times as many helpers than turnovers (37 against 9) in the last four games.

"The biggest adjustment was simply to be more vocal, having to be that quarterback on the ground … just having to learn all the pieces," Jackson said. & # 39; & # 39; During this period, passing from trying to learn from (Morris) to have to be the one who learns and teaches it. & # 39; & # 39;

While playing for Mulkey, who had long won two national championships as Baylor coach, she was the playmaker for two national titles at Louisiana Tech and requires a lot of her players there.

Mulkey described Jackson as "smart, do not try to be what it is not".

In a win against Iowa State last week, Jackson made his first double-double at Baylor with 11 points and 11 assists.

"Everything that Chloe does with the ball in her hands impresses me, because it's like taking a wide receiver and making it a quarterback from their fifth year at the university," he said. Mulkey said. & # 39; & # 39; An athlete can run the ball a lot, but you have to have models, you have to throw the ball at the last minute when they make their cuts, you have to be in the pocket, and she has to do all that. & # 39; & # 39;

Jackson played for an elite women's basketball program at Riverdale Baptist High, Maryland, but before her second year of summer 2011, she had moved to another school with an outstanding football team to attend. practice both sports.

"It was a crazy summer," Jackson said. "I spent all summer doing exercise, playing football and doing all that, but when the school started, I went to the school. school one day, then an earthquake occurred that night. … Everything happens for a reason. In high school, it happened for a reason. This situation in which I am at the moment, all this happened for a reason. & # 39; & # 39;

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