Home Latest News Capitals legend Lauren Jackson joins Opals camp in Canberra

Capitals legend Lauren Jackson joins Opals camp in Canberra

The temptation of a second world title has pushed Canberra Capitals and Australian basketball legend Lauren Jackson out of international retirement.

Jackson, 41, will participate in an Opals team camp in Canberra next week ahead of the World Cup in Sydney in September, nine years after she last played for Australia.

They captained Australia to their only world title in 2006.

Jackson was the event ambassador for the World Cup and her addition to the Opals squad is a huge boost to the event.

Her inclusion in the Opals team was confirmed on Tuesday evening and is an important step towards Jackson’s potential international comeback.

Jackson dropped out of the Rio Olympics due to debilitating knee pain.

She returned to the domestic competition at the beginning of this year thanks to a strict fitness regime and could boast of excellent form.

“I never expected to get to this point, so every day that I pass by here is a blessing and I really feel like one of the luckiest people in the world to have another chance after the way my career ended” , Jackson told News Corp.

“There is a bit of anxiety. I’m definitely a little scared and excited, but who knows what will happen to my body.

“I have been very careful from the start, not to get too excited or put pressure on myself. It’s been a really long journey, but with every milestone I’ve reached, I’ve gone ‘I didn’t think I’d get to this point’.

“It kind of feels like I’m a kid again competing for a position. When I found out I was in the squad I was shocked for a while, it’s reality now and I’m getting excited to compete to wear green and gold again. †

Jackson has one of the best resumes in Australian sport: three-time WNBA MVP, four-time WNBL MVP, four-time Olympic for three silver medals and a bronze, five-time WNBL champion and seven-time WNBA All-Star.

Not surprisingly, Jackson is convinced she can make a difference if she makes the final for the third-ranked Opals’ World Cup team.

“With my size, height and experience in the game, I think what I can bring to the team is invaluable in terms of leadership,” she said.

“Once I set foot on a basketball court I’m pretty confident in it, it just comes naturally and has always been just part of who I am. I know I can give the girls that confidence, I can help them and that’s where I think I can be helpful.

“In terms of my talent and ability to go out and score buckets, people know I can do that, but I think it’s the other things that are going to make a difference.”

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