Back in the 80s, the UTEP Men's Basketball team was a force to be reckoned with. The centerpiece of some of those teams was the late great Jeep Jackson. Jeep died at the age of 23 less than two months after playing his final game for the Miners. He will be honored at UTEP’s game against UAB on Thursday, February 2 in the Don Haskins Center.

Jeep ranks fourth in UTEP history in steals and seventh in assists. He played 124 games for the Miners and was responsible for 875 points for the Miners. He also led UTEP to 101 victories, four NCAA Tournament bids, and four Western Athletic Conference regular season titles. He is remembered as an integral part of the Miners’ unprecedented seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1984 - 1990.

Jeep died on May 2, 1987. The autopsy report said the cause of death was birth defects in his heart, but tests also revealed that he had cocaine in his system at the time of his death. A terribly poignant article about the effect Jeep's death had on Coach Don Haskins is tough to read because you can almost hear the pain in Coach's voice when he tries to struggle with the aftermath of losing Jeep.

Remembering Jeep's glory days at UTEP will be the order of business at this week's game. The first 5,000 fans through the doors will get a Jeep Jackson commemorative trading card, and the first 1,000 will receive a Jeep Jackson t-shirt. There will also be a tribute video and a special appearance by former Miner Wayne “Soup” Campbell at halftime. He will introduce members of Jeep's family who will be in attendance at the Don.

You can get tickets for the game by calling 747-5234.

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