- Jackson announced that he will not participate in Paris 2024
- She is arguably Australia’s best female basketball player.
- Jackson helped the Opals qualify for the Olympics with a victory
Opals legend Lauren Jackson has confirmed she will not take part in the Paris 2024 Olympics after Australia qualified for the Games with an 85-52 thrashing of Germany.
The 42-year-old officially announced her retirement from international basketball following Saturday’s (Sunday AEDT) victory in Belem, Brazil, almost 18 months after her stunning return at the 2022 World Cup.
“I’m done… I love Brazil, Brazil has been very good to me,” said Jackson, who was part of the Opals’ victorious 2006 World Cup campaign in Brazil.
‘How fitting that I can finish my national career with Australia in Brazil. It’s very special.’
Jackson, arguably Australia’s greatest ever women’s basketball player, initially retired from the Opals in 2016 before returning to fitness to join Sandy Brondello’s bench at the 2022 home World Cup.
Lauren Jackson revealed in a post-match interview that she will not be going to Paris 2024
The Aussie Opals defeated Germany 85-52 to qualify for their 10th Olympic Games
She was mostly restricted to brief appearances in the tournament, before dominating Canada with 30 points in the victorious bronze medal match.
Jackson had been adamant at the time that she would not play for the Opals again, but after recovering from an Achilles injury she was selected in a 20-player squad for the crucial Brazil qualifiers.
Jackson arrived midway through the first period against Germany on Saturday and made an immediate impact, providing a big assist to Ezi Magbegor and then hitting a 3-pointer.
Her first seven-point period off the bench helped the Opals take control.
Jackson was a member of the only Australian Opals team to win a World Cup, in 2006.
She has won four Olympic medals, including silver in three consecutive Games, starting in Sydney in 2000, when she competed as a teenager.
The Opal 12 scored against Germany, led by captain Tess Madgen’s 15 points, including 13 without a miss in her team’s dominant first half.
Bec Allen added 10 points, as did 19-year-old Isobel Borlase, in an impressive debut in the green and gold.
Jackson arrived midway through the opening period and made an immediate impact.
Jackson has won four Olympic medals, including silver in three consecutive Games, starting with Sydney in 2000, when she competed as a teenager.
Germany suffered a blow before the match with the absence due to injury of the Sabally sisters, their two best players.
Two-time WNBA All-Star Satou Sabally suffered a separated left shoulder against Serbia, while her power forward sister Nyara, who plays for Opals coach Brondello at the New York Liberty, was out for a knee injury.
“The most important thing with the absence of the Sabally sisters was not to be complacent, because that can happen,” Brondello said.
“Our first half wasn’t perfect, but we were locked in.
“We knew that if we won tonight we would qualify for Paris.
“Happy to leave that behind.”
The exhausted Germans missed their first nine attempts en route to a 26 percent shooting night as Australia took an 8-0 lead.
Borlase substituted in his first international minutes with two minutes and 28 seconds remaining in the second period and scored a corner three-pointer with his first shot and scored seven quick points, combining magnificently in transition with Madgen, who scored three three-pointers in the First half. Without fail.
Third-ranked Australia’s excellent defense fell slightly in a 21-21 third period, before both teams’ offenses faltered in a difficult final quarter, but by then the Opals’ job was done.
Australia’s final match in the Olympic qualifying tournament will be against world number 10 Serbia on Sunday (Monday AEDT).