“Rickea Jackson Caught in Off-Court Controversy: Allegations of Unauthorized Gambling and was suspended”

Rickea Jackson has played her last game for Lady Vols basketball.

The redshirt senior announced on social media Tuesday that she will forgo her final year of eligibility, granted because of the COVID-19 season, and end her college career. Her decision comes a day after Tennessee fired Kellie Harper, whose first season as coach was Key’s freshman year.

The 6-foot-6 center broke the single-season and career blocks records as a junior, when she had 119 blocks. That put her at 277 for her career, surpassing Lady Vols legend Candace Parker’s program record of 275. Key finished her career with 347 blocks, making her one of six players in SEC history to surpass 300 in their career.

“I am so thankful for everything that basketball has blessed me with. It has given me the ability to travel, meet new people and create relationships with you all. I will always cherish those memories,” Key wrote in her post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Thank you for an amazing five years and for all of the unconditional love and support that you have shown me. I have found a forever home and family here. I also would like to thank my teammates, my coaches and support staff who pushed me to be the best version of myself every day.

“With that being said, I will not be pursuing my COVID year, and I am grateful to embark on the next chapter of my life.”

Key got to end her career at Tennessee on her own terms. Her 2022-23 season was cut short because of blood clots in her lungs, which sidelined her nine games in. She spent much of this past season working her way back to who she was before, and she looked it in her final game.

The Lady Vols’ run ended in a 79-72 loss to NC State in the second round of the NCAA tournament. But Key was a crucial part in Tennessee’s rally in that game. She had 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting, two rebounds, two blocks and a steal. She was a strong presence in the paint on both ends of the court, and she made tough finishes against one of the best centers in the ACC. In the last month of the season, Key averaged 6.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.

Key led the team in field goal percentage (57.4%) this season and surpassed 1,000 career points on senior night.

She started in 107 games and played 131 total at Tennessee. She had her career-best season as a junior when she averaged 10.5 points and 8.1 rebounds, helping lead the Lady Vols to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016.

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