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Tuesday July 23, 2024

Australia hand Jackson fifth shot at basketball gold

By AFP
July 08, 2024
Australia Lauren Jackson (25) steps in against Canada Nirra Fields (21) in first quarter at Sydney SuperDome on Oct 1, 2022. — USA TODAY Sports
Australia Lauren Jackson (25) steps in against Canada Nirra Fields (21) in first quarter at Sydney SuperDome on Oct 1, 2022. — USA TODAY Sports

SYDNEY: Lauren Jackson will finally get to go to her fifth Olympics after being named in the Australia basketball squad for the Paris Games on Sunday, 27 years after she got her first call-up to the Opals in 1997.

The 43-year-old, a triple Olympic silver medallist and 2006 world champion, originally announced her retirement from international basketball in 2016 after a knee injury prevented her playing at a fifth Games in Rio.

She returned to help Australia to third place on home soil in the 2022 World Cup and was part of the Southside Flyers squad that won the WNBL this year, Jackson's seventh title in the domestic league.

Jackson, four times an MVP in North America's WNBA, is the all time leading points scorer in women's Olympic competition having helped Australia to second place in Sydney, Athens and Beijing and third in London. The competitions run from July 27 to Aug. 11 with the preliminary rounds taking place in Lille before the playoffs in Paris.