Champion Australian basketballer Lauren Jackson will come out of her nine-year international retirement to join the Opals’ squad for this year’s World Cup.
- Lauren Jackson says she is a “little bit scared but excited” to be returning to the Opals
- Jackson won the World Championship with Australia in 2006
- The Opals open their World Cup campaign against France on September 22
Jackson, now 41, has been playing for Albury Wodonga this year and will join the national team squad’s camp next week.
Widely regarded as Australia’s greatest-ever basketballer, Jackson has won four Olympic medals, three World Championship medals, including gold in 2006, and was inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.
Her storied WNBA career included five championships and four MVP awards.
Speaking to News Corp, Jackson said she had been cautious throughout her “really long journey” back to the top level.
“I never expected to get to this point so every day I get past here is a blessing and I truly feel like one of the luckiest people in the world to be getting another shot after the way my career ended,” Jackson said.
“There’s a little bit of apprehension. I’m definitely a little bit scared and excited, but who knows what will happen with my body.
“It kind of feels like I’m a kid again vying for a position.
“When I found out I made it into the squad, I had a moment of shock
“It’s reality now and [I’m] getting into the mind frame again of competing to wear the green and gold again.”
The Opals will begin their World Cup campaign in Sydney on September 22 against France, with pool games against Mali, Serbia, Canada and Japan to follow.
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