Lauren Jackson, a 41-year old, opened the doors to an amazing World Cup basketball return later this year.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member and three-time WNBA MVP, as well as 2006 world champion with Opals, was arguably the greatest female player of history. She retired in 2016 due to chronic knee pain.
The 40-year old has experienced relief after trying medicinal cannabis. She is now a major advocate for the treatment and has been able to get out of retirement to play in the second-tier NBL1 with her team Albury Wodonga Bandits.
Jackson, who was set to play in the stadium named for her, said that she had applied to a therapeutic use exemption. However, she would have to withdraw if denied.
She said, “That’s been crucial in my ability to recuperate and come back. Just the way I have been training has helped me tremendously.”
“I am really grateful that I was able to take part in that trial. I will explore all options for getting that exemption.
“In the last few games, I felt so much pain that it ended my career. But, that’s not me anymore.”
Jackson’s next move will depend on Jackson’s handling of the grind of competitive basketball. The NBL1 season runs into August, which is the perfect time to build up to the FIBA World Cup in September.
Liz Cambage’s Opals career is over. The WNBA centre declared that she has “zero” interest after she withdrew from the Olympics. This was in response to an incident during a warm up game.
Jackson has the support of Sandy Brondello, Opals coach, and potential teammates. She is not limiting her options despite trying to downplay the prospect Wednesday.
“I haven’t played in eight years… She said that she might be “terrible” because there are so many unknowns and that she’s 40 years old.
“The stars have aligned for my at the moment… To be pain-free, get out of bed and move again is what it’s all about.
“I was very tired, and basketball had taken a toll on my emotional health so it’s going be a new experience. I’m so excited!
Jackson’s Opals injection could prove to be just what the World Cup hosts need. Cambage was absent in the quarter-final Tokyo Games exit.
They have since fallen to No.3 in world rankings and came third at the Asia Cup last year.