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Marion’s Jackson signs with SAU Tech


Patriot senior taking basketball game to the college level


Marion School District___________

Marion’s lead guard for the past four seasons found her new home.

Two-time all-state performer Ny’Asia Jackson signed last week to continue her academic and athletic career at Southern Arkansas University Tech, a two-year public college in Camden. Arkansas.

“This is a thrill for me because I really wanted to keep playing and keep learning,” said Jackson following her signing ceremony in the Marion High School lobby. “I love basketball, and I love my new coaches.”

“Ny’Asia is a very special young woman because she always looked to get better,” said Marion girls basketball coach Shunda Johnson. “Even when it wasn’t easy or fun to do so. But it seemed like every time we coaches challenged her and wanted her to improve an aspect of her game, she worked and worked to get that done.”

Jackson became the first freshman girls basketball letter-winner in at least 30 years at Marion when Johnson promoted her to the varsity team ahead of Jackson’s ninth-grade year of 2020–2021.

She started some that season and helped Marion return to the state semifinals for the first time since 2018.

“I was excited to move up and play with my sister that year,” said Jackson. “But, I was sad about leaving my classmates too. It was a tough decision.”

“We talked a lot about it that summer, about whether to move her up or not,” said Johnson. “We knew ever since she was in seventh grade that she was our best point guard, and could play with anyone. In the end. she gave us a big lift and helped us immediately.”

Jackson’s freshman set the stage for all-conference honors following her sophomore season, when she ranked first in assists and fourth in scoring as the Pats returned to the final four in 2022.

As a junior, Jackson’s assists went way up and her assists went way down, her defensive acumen took a leap, and in the state tournament at Pine Bluff, she scored a game-high 23 points in the quarterfinals to power the Pats back into the semifinals, where Marion lost in overtime to Vilonia.

This past season, Jackson was one of three seniors on the roster, and she did more than ever, leading the club in scoring, assists, and steals, and ranked fourth in

See SIGNS, page A10

Marion senior guard Ny’Asia Jackson (seated at center) signs her national letter of intent to continue her basketball career last week during a signing ceremony at Marion High School. Jackson twice earned all-state honors at Marion, was a three-time all-conference honoree, and topped 1,000 points in her varsity basketball career.

Photo by Chuck Livingston


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From page A9

rebounding despite her _vefoot frame, earning all-state honors for a second straight season.

“She was jumping with the trees a lot this year,” said Johnson. “It was something to see. But that’s a credit to NyNy. We needed her to help us on the glass and she did it. She’s extraordinarily coachable.”

Now Jackson will take her talents to Camden, located in deep south Arkansas.

The SAU Tech Rockets were 21-3 overall in 20232024, earning their conference title with a awless 9-0 mark. SAU Tech then advanced to the second round of the D2 women’s basketball tournament and _nished with a No. 8 national ranking.

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