Lauren Jackson’s Opals farewell one last dance for greatest of all time. Denied the fairytale ending 2016, she has finally bowed her status.
Lauren Jackson : Farewell | Record | Retirement | Age
Lauren is the most famous basketball player in Australia, a position she reached by 2003.
Prior to this, Australia’s most famous player was Michelle Timms, who played internationally and was recognised as one of the world’s best basketball players by the time she was 21.
She has been described as Australia’s best female player to ever step on a basketball court, and the best female basketball player in the world.
She has said regarding being the best female basketball player in the world: “I don’t really think about it. Nobody really talks to me like that. It’s not something I’m conscious of.
My family and people who have known me all my life, they see me for who I am, and crack open a beer or a bottle of wine with me. They know I have to train, but the rest of it is really laid-back.”
Two weeks ago, Australia’s Lauren Jackson – perhaps the greatest female basketball player of all time – told me she did not believe in fairytales. No matter.
On Saturday, Jackson farewelled her remarkable career in true fairytale fashion. It would be hard to script a more appropriate ending.
Also on home soil, the Opals beat Canada to win the bronze medal – or “rose gold,” as Australian fans like to say – at the Fiba Women’s World Cup.
Jackson reprised her form of old, leading the scoring with 30 points, to add a fourth World Cup medal to her tally (alongside four Olympic medals).
Jackson retired to her hometown of Albury. She had two children and took up a managerial role with Basketball Australia. With the help of medical marijuana, she was eventually able to return to the court – for social, mixed basketball. But international basketball remained a world away.
But then, one thing led to another. A comeback in the domestic league. A return to the Opals training camp. A call-up to the squad for the World Cup. And, on Saturday, one last medal for Australia.
Lauren Jackson Record
Lauren Jackson now holds the record for most games played in Women’s World Cup.
Jackson makes history yet again in the last game of this FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 tied as the All-Time leader in games played.
|Janeth Dos Santos Arcain
|Yamile Martinez Calderon
|Alessandra Santos De Olivera
|Helen Cristina Santos Luz
|Dalia Hery Hernandez
After being named to Australia’s roster of the Third-Place Game against Canada, Jackson has now played in 43 games in the Women’s World Cup.
This is tied for most ever all-time with Brazil’s Janeth Dos Santos Arcain. Only four other players have played in at least 40 games in the Women’s World Cup, all players of the Brazil national team.
Jackson also added on to her all-time scoring total in the Women’s World Cup after getting past 600 points in the first game of this year’s competition. Heading into her historic 43rd appearance, Jackson has already amassed 640 points in the history of the competition
Australian basketball legend Lauren Jackson has made a remarkable comeback from retirement at the age of 40, making her mark immediately while playing for her hometown Albury-Wodonga Bandits in the semi-professional NBL1 competition.
Six years after the Opals and WNBA star retired from the game due to chronic knee injuries — and a quarter of a century after her debut for the AIS team in the WNBL — in February this year Jackson announced her decision to play again.
When her return was announced, Albury-Wodonga Bandits president Luke Smith was quoted saying it was an honour to be able to welcome Jackson home.
“Our young players are going to have a massive opportunity to play and train with arguably the world’s best-ever female basketball player,” Smith said.
“It’s huge for them. It’s huge for every kid and it’s huge for every basketball player in Albury-Wodonga.”
Jackson’s much-anticipated return came on Saturday night, as the Bandits defeated the Central Coast Crusaders 78-61.
Jackson appeared to move smoothly in her return game — she produced a trademark block to stifle one Central Coast attack, and quickly found her shooting range.
The Bandits were happy to feed her the ball, and Jackson paid them back with a return of 21 points — including five three-pointers, five rebounds and one block.
All told, Jackson played just 22 minutes in her return, but the signs were good.
In her career, the Australian has picked up almost every accolade there is, including five WNBL titles for the Canberra Capitals, two WNBA titles with the Seattle Storm, a world championship gold medal and four Olympic medals with the Opals.
Lauren Elizabeth Jackson AO (born 11 May 1981) is an Australian professional basketball player.
|11 May 1981
|187 lb (85 kg)
The daughter of two national basketball team players, Jackson was awarded a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in 1997, when she was 16. In 1998, she led the AIS team that won the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) championship.
Jackson joined the Canberra Capitals for the 1999 season when she turned 18 and played with the team off and on until 2006, winning four more WNBL championships.
From 2010 to 2016, Jackson played with the Canberra Capitals, which she did during the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) offseason during the time she continued WNBA play.