10 years ago, former legendary head coach Anna Jackson won her ninth state title with the Murrah High School.
Nearly six months ago, Jackson was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, an honor her former players believed was long over due.
“I remember I have an article that says there’s another at 1400 Murrah Drive and it was talking about her team,” said former Murrah Mustang Tonya Seaton-Adams.
“We all came from different middle schools, but we all wanted to come here to Murrah to play,” Ebony Felder-Jamerson said, another one of Jackson’s former players.
“We traveled, we took flights, we were doing things in high school that people do in college,” said Jackson State women’s head basketball coach and former Mustang Tomekia Reed said.
“We won our first state championship in 1991 and it wasn’t until 97 when we won the next one,” Jackson State. “It was during that time that I thought that we were on our way to be a successful program.”
Jackson took over the girls basketball program at Murrah in 1983.
“When I started coaching here, I think the coach before me won eight ball games and they had not had a winning season and I was the first female to coach here, when we started playing at 6 o’clock in the evening it was like a scrimmage because nobody came to watch us play,” said Jackson.
“By the time we started winning state championships they student body wouldn’t go home after school, they would stay here because both teams were good.”
“That time was like the beginning of the Anna Jackson era, because when I got here it was all about the boys basketball team, because you had James Robinson, you had Lindsey Hunter,” said Seaton-Adams, who went on to play college ball at Mississippi State. “You had all of those guys, so the girls basketball team kind of took a back seat.”
But, not for long.
Jackson finished coaching the program in 2009 with a 26-3 record and her ninth gold ball.
The Murrah girls basketball program has the second most state championships in the state, with 10.
“We kind of set the standard,” Felder-Jamerson said, who furthered her basketball career at the University of Georgia. “Even if you talk to people now, if they talk about women’s basketball here in the city, you can’t help but to mention Murrah because of what Coach Jackson has done with this program.”
“It’s a good feeling that people still remember us and remember some of our accomplishments,” said Jackson. “It’s really a great feeling and I still take the time to talk them and thank them for even speaking to me.”
Jackson’s coaching career — that spanned for 33 years— garnered her McDonald’s All-American Coach of the Year honors, the WBCA All-American Coach of the Year award, and her most recent accolade came last summer as she was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
“I had wondered if I’d ever get the letter or get the call, because I had been hoping for that for several, several years,” Jackson said.
“It’s just a since of pride knowing that you were a part of that, you contributed to that in some way because without her we wouldn’t have had the legacy that we ended up having at this school,” said Felder-Jamerson.
“I was just so happy and ecstatic to see that people saw her value to finally place her in the Hall of Fame,” said Reed. “She’s someone who didn’t boast about it, she was just Coach Jackson.”
“When my mom passed away, she was just mom for me and she would always open her door, you can come here, you can come to my house, you can come stay with me. She would always check on me. Times where we would we have events where parents would be there and the moms would be with their daughters, she was there for me.”