NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As a point guard for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons basketball team Kendra Ramsey Jackson was known for her mental and physical toughness.
Kendra, wearing No. 14, helped lead the Lady Bisons to the Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship and Lipscomb’s first berth in the NCAA Tournament in the 2003-2004 season. Adding to the historical event was the fact the Lady Bisons were the first team to ever qualify for the NCAA Tournament in the first year of eligibility.
Frank Bennett, Lipscomb's associate athletic director for internal affairs, was the head women’s basketball coach when Kendra played. He remembers her as a “true” leader.
“Kendra was really competitive,” Bennett said. “She was one of the driving forces on that team.
“She scored more than 1,000 points and was the overall leader in (career) assists in the NCAA era. She wasn’t exceptionally quick but she was very intelligent and very crafty.”
For the past three years her toughness level has been tested on a daily basis as she wages a battle with Folliculotropic Mycosis Fugoidas Lymphoma, a very rare disease.
In an effort to provide support for Kendra and her family the Lady Bisons basketball team is centering fund-raising efforts on Saturday’s basketball game with North Florida. Game time at Allen Arena is 1:30 p.m.
Some of the events scheduled are:
- A T-shirt auction with designs by the Lady Bisons. This will be a silent auction that will end at halftime.
- Fans are asked to join Lipscomb coach Greg Brown and his staff in making donations for 3-point baskets made during the North Florida game.
There will be a sign-up sheet in the lobby in the front of Allen Arena.
- Special recognition for Kendra and her family at halftime.
All proceeds will go directly to Kendra who is planning to attend the game with her family.
Kendra was coaching at Station Camp High School and is hopeful she will one day resume her career.
If you are not able to attend the game it is still possible to make a donation by contacting Nina Pedigo Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans can also sign up for the 3-point rally by emailing Carroll.
Carroll, also a former Lady Bisons basketball player, became acquainted with Kendra through her coaching on the AAU level.
“My oldest child, Catie, wanted to play on an AAU basketball team,” Carroll said. “Coach Bennett thought he was going to coach a team, but that was the time when Lipscomb was going to the NCAA. He found out that the rules wouldn’t let him coach AAU.
“Kendra and Katie Beth (Pate Allen) coached the team instead. I have always loved watching Kendra coach.”
Carroll is hopeful the event will generate a great deal of interest that will result in donations.
“I look forward to manning the table Saturday,” Carroll said. “I attended Kendra’s wedding and celebrated the births of her children with her. We just really clicked as friends. Through the years we have kept our friendship going.
“She has really been an inspiration to so many people as to how she has continued to fight through this. She amazes me with her strength and her attitude and her ability to try to stay healthy. She runs and walks to stay strong. That is just who she is.”