Hernell "Jeep" Jackson (photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics)

It is hard to believe that it has been 25 years since the passing of Hernell “Jeep” Jackson. On May 2nd, 1987, the UTEP point guard was playing in a benefit basketball game at Fort Bliss. Just a few minutes into the contest, Jackson collapsed while sitting on the bench. He was taken to Beaumont Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead an hour later.

UTEP Senior Associate Athletic Director Jeff Darby wrote a piece remembering Jackson this week that can be found on the UTEP Athletics website. Former UTEP basketball assistant coach turned author Rus Bradburd also wrote an incredible great tribute to Jeep on the website Slam Online. Bradburd shared some great stories of the legendary Miners guard and head coach Don Haskins.

When I look back on the time when #22 ran the UTEP offense, I will always remember Jeep’s smile, swagger, and leadership. He helped pave the way for Tim Hardaway to develop into one of the Miners’ greatest point guards ever. Jeep Jackson was another major piece to one of the most dominant eras of basketball in UTEP history, and current head coach Tim Floyd hopes to recapture that magic with his team.