SYDNEY, (Reuters) – Hall of Famer Lauren Jackson has agreed to come out of a long international retirement to play for Australia’s Opals when her country hosts the Women’s World Cup later this year.
The 41-year-old triple Olympic silver medallist and 2006 world champion announced her retirement from elite basketball in 2016 after a knee injury prevented her playing at a fifth Olympics in Rio.
Three times an MVP in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) with the Seattle Storm, Jackson will return to the Opals squad next week a quarter of a century after her first call-up as a teenager in 1997.”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,” Jackson told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.
“It’s been a really long journey but every milestone that I’ve hit I’ve gone ‘I didn’t think I’d get to this point’ but thought I’ll just push it a bit further and see how much further I can go.”
Jackson made a comeback to the game in February with her hometown Albury Wodonga team in a semi-professional regional league. Australia, runners-up behind in the United States at the last Women’s World Cup in Spain in 2018, will host the 19th edition of the global showpiece in two venues in Sydney from Sept. 22 to Oct. 1.