Lauren Jackson is one of the most distinguished athletes in basketball history.
“One of the greats” and “MVP,” two titles she received during her career, only skim the surface regarding the barriers she thrashed during her tenure as a professional athlete. Lauren’s shyness coupled with her assertive on-court nature made her an athletic force to be reckoned with, and her professional achievements are certainly reflective. The 6-foot-6 centre reigned over the league unlike any other athlete of her time.
When Lauren was only 17 years old, she led the Australian Institute of Sports team to the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) championship. Having been described as Australia’s answer to Michael Jordan, making jump shots and bank shots with ease, Lauren is Australia’s first player of either gender to play on an international level. She joined the Canberra Capitals for the 1999 season, playing with the team, on and off, until 2006, winning four more WNBL championships. From 2010 to 2016, Jackson played with the Canberra Capitals during the WNBA offseason.
Her WNBA career was an incredible success, beginning with being a number 1 draft selection by the Seattle Storm in 2001. She won two WNBA titles with the Seattle Storm, in 2004 and 2011, also earning the WNBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in 2011. Lauren led the WNBA in Player Efficiency Rating, six times, the most in WNBA history. In fact, she is the only player in the NBA to achieve that feat in this century besides LeBron James. Lauren ranks among the top WNBA players in played games, minutes played, field goals, three-point shots, and turnover percentage.
Lauren has also played for several clubs in Europe such as WBC Spartak Moscow (Russia) and
Ros Casares Valencia (Spain) in addition to setting the league record in scoring in the Women’s
Korean Basketball League. Lauren represented Australia with the Opals basketball team at four Olympics, winning three silver medals.
She also won a silver medal at the 2002 FIBA World Championship for Women in China as well as a gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne whilst also
representing Australia at the 2010 World Championships. Lauren’s WNBA jersey was retired in Seattle, Washington, in 2016, and at 37 years of age, Lauren worked as
the Assistant General Manager of the Melbourne Boomers in the WNBL. Lauren is also the Coach for the Albury Bandits and Director & Founder of Empowered Athletes Transition Program, looking to transition away from sport.
Lauren has recently been appointed the Head of Women in Basketball, at
Basketball Australia, where she will be responsible for the strategic direction of sport for women.
She balances motherhood to two beautiful boys and her rising career as she continues to strive for greatness, on and off the court.