Jackson during a Canberra Capitals game in 2015.
|Born||Lauren Elizabeth Jackson|
May 11, 1981
Albury, South Wales, Australia
|Listed height||6 ft 5 in ( m)|
|Listed weight||187 lbs (85 kg)|
|High school|| Murray |
|College|| Macquarie University |
|WNBA Draft||2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st|
|Selected by the Seattle Storm|
|Pro career||1997-present (19 years)|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|1997–1999||Australian Institute of Sport|
|2007–2010||Spartak Moscow Region|
|2011||Ros Casares Valencia|
|Career highlights and awards|
Lauren Elizabeth Jackson (born 11 May 1981 in Albury, New South Wales) is an Australian retired professional basketball player. Jackson began her professional career at the Australian Institute of Sport in the WNBL before moving on to the Canberra Capitals. She is currently a forward/centre with the Seattle Storm of the WNBA and the Australian national team The Opals.
Both of Jackson's parents, Gary and Maree, represented Australia in basketball and she took up the game at the age of four. A teenage prodigy at Murray High School, Albury, she moved to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra as a teenager. She played for the Australian women's team, the Opals, in 1997 as a 17-year-old. She led the Australian Institute of Sport team, made up of the country's best 16- to 18-year-old players, to a premiership in the WNBL Women's National Basketball League, the Australian women's professional league, in 1998-1999 - an unprecedented achievement for a youth team.Template:Citation needed Ineligible to continue with the AIS team, she joined the other Canberra-based team, the Canberra Capitals, and led them to titles in 1999-2000, 2001–02, 2002–03, and 2005-2006.
In the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Jackson collected 20 points and 13 rebounds in a loss to the United States in the gold medal game. In the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, The Opals were again the silver medalists, losing to the United States in the Olympic final. In the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, the Opals were again silver medalists, losing to the United States in the Olympic final for the third straight time.
In the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, the Opals defeated New Zealand's Tall Ferns in the final, earning the gold medal.
In the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women in Brazil, the Opals defeated Russia to win the gold medal. Jackson captained the team.
Jackson declared for the WNBA Draft in 2001 and was selected by the Seattle Storm. During her rookie season, she led the Seattle Storm in points with 15.2; rebounds with 6.7; and blocks; with 2.21 assists per game.
In 2003, although the Seattle Storm did not make the playoffs, she was voted the WNBA's Most Valuable Player. In 2004, the Seattle Storm team won the WNBA Championship by defeating the Connecticut Sun, two games to one. She was runner-up for the MVP award in that year and again in 2005. In April 2006, she signed a three-year contract to stay with the Storm.
On 24 July 2007, Jackson scored a WNBA record 47 points (tied with Diana Taurasi) in a 97-96 overtime loss to the Washington Mystics at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. She also set the record for the most field goals in a game, with 18 made.
On 6 September 2007, Jackson won her second MVP award. She led the league in both scoring (23.8 points per game) and rebounding (9.7) and was second in the league in blocked shots (2.0) as well as leading the WNBA in double-doubles with 17. She was also named Player of the Week five times. In the offseason leading up to the 2009 season, Jackson signed a free-agent deal to return to the Storm. Jackson also received the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2007.
On 2 September 2010, Jackson was presented her third MVP Award at the Seattle Storm's Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Mercury. On 17 September 2010, the Storm beat the Atlanta Dream to win the WNBA championship for the second time. Jackson was named the finals MVP.
Jackson carries career per-game averages of 19.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2 blocks in 295 games.
Other international play
In the 2003 Russian League Season, Jackson played for UMMC Ekaterinberg; however, she saw limited court time. The decision by the coach to not utilise Jackson's prowess and presence on court was widely criticised by other coaches, and caused confusion among players. However, Jackson has defended the coach's decision, saying that in Russia, regulations exist where there has to be a certain number of Russian players on court at any given time.
Jackson decided to leave Australia after the 2005-06 WNBL season. While she had huge offers from clubs in Russia, she opted instead to sign a three-year deal with a Seoul, Korea-based club Samsung Bichumi in South Korea's national league. Although she would not earn as much money in Korea as she could in Russia, her salary was higher than what she could earn in Australia. More importantly, Korea's season runs only from mid-December to early March, about half the length of the European season, and clubs in the league only play two games a week. She indicated that Korea's shorter season was the main reason that she decided to sign there, noting that it would likely prolong her career.Template:Citation needed She won the Korean league's MVP award in 2007.
In 2007, Jackson signed up to play alongside Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird for WBC Spartak Moscow Region in the Women's Russian A Super-league, helping it win the championship over CSKA Samara in five games. Jackson continued to play with Spartak for the 2008 and 2009 seasons, winning the title again in 2008.
Off the court
Jackson posed nude in an Australian magazine, Black+White, that featured Olympic athletes who were set to compete in Athens in the 2004 Summer Olympics. The expensively printed magazine/book has been produced for the last three Olympic Games and, by the 2004 edition, was considered relatively uncontroversial in Australia with its "artistic" approach to nude photography and its equal coverage of male and female athletes (though it did create a stir in the U.S.). Jackson also posed for the 2005 edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Jackson is studying for a psychology degree at Lomonosov Moscow State University and will continue via correspondence from America. She wishes to work in social work after her basketball career ends.
- ↑ Voepel, Mechelle (16 September 2010). "Second title even sweeter for Storm". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/wnba/columns/story?columnist=voepel_mechelle&id=5582104. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- ↑ Gregory, Andrew (2 October 2007). "Q&A with Australia’s WNBA and Opals star Lauren Jackson". http://blogs.foxsports.com.au/basketball/index.php/foxsports/comments/question_and_answer_time_with_australias_wnba_and_opals_star_lauren_jackson/. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- ↑ "Lennox and Jackson Chat Transcript". http://www.wnba.com/storm/news/lennox_jackson_chat_transcript_050605.html. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- ↑ Brown, Alex (12 May 2007). "Plenty of fire left in Jackson's belly". The Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/news/basketball/plenty-of-fire-left-in-jacksons-belly/2007/05/11/1178390547951.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Photo Gallery - Photos featuring Lauren Jackson