A two-time All-American at Southwest Missouri State, Stiles spoke to the Tritons for over three hours on several topics including goal setting, time management, on and off-court leadership, team chemistry and more. Stiles is a good friend of UCSD head coach Charity Elliott, who also spent her playing days at SMS and went on to coach the Bears alongside Cheryl Burnett.
"We were thrilled and honored to have Jackie Stiles come spend some time with our players this week," Elliott said. "I've had the pleasure of knowing Jackie since before her unprecedented success at my alma mater, Southwest Missouri State and I was so excited that she was able to share her story with us."
Stiles grew up in Clafin, Kansas, where she became the state's all-time leading scorer for both girls and boys high school basketball at Clafin High School. She also holds the Kansas state record for points in a game with 71.
Stiles went on to Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State), where she became the NCAA Division I career scoring leader with a total of 3,393 points. As a senior, she led the Bears to the program's second Final Four appearance, scoring 41 points in an 81-71 victory over top-ranked Duke in the Sweet 16 along the way.
Stiles was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year three times during her career, while also earning the Wade Trophy as the top women's basketball player in the country and the Broderick Cup, which is awarded to the women's collegiate athlete of the year. She was a two-time Kodak First Team All-American.
Following her impressive collegiate career, Stiles was selected fourth overall by the Portland Fire in the 2001 WNBA draft. She averaged 14.9 points per game during her first season as a pro and earned WNBA Rookie of the Year honors for her efforts. She was also selected to the WNBA All-Star Team that season. Stiles went on to play briefly in Australia before injuries forced her retirement in 2006.
"From her humble beginnings in Kansas, to becoming the all-time leading scorer in NCAA women's basketball history and the WNBA Rookie of the Year, Jackie's success has been directly related to her unparalleled work ethic," Elliott continued. "I absolutely loved hearing her share her secrets and stories with our players. She is so easy to relate to and I think our players really enjoyed hearing what she had to say."
Elliott was a member of Southwest Missouri State's first Final Four squad after the team went 31-3 in 1991-92. She first met Stiles when she was a player for the Bears and Stiles was in junior high.