The Seattle Storm announced Wednesday that Lauren Jackson will not compete with the team during the 2013 season. Jackson has chosen to remain in Australia to rehabilitate following her recent hamstring surgery. Her contract has been suspended and she is expected to play for the Storm in 2014.
In addition, the Storm announced that center Ann Wauters will not return. She has chosen to spend the summer resting and with her family and does not plan to participate in the WNBA in 2013.
“We support Lauren’s decision to take time off and let her body fully recover,” said Storm Head Coach and General Manager Brian Agler. “Lauren is the best player in the world at her position so it will be impossible to replace her but we are moving forward. We also truly appreciate the time and effort Ann and her family gave to the Storm in 2012. She is a fantastic person and great player. We wish her the best of luck in the future.
“We are focused on free agency and preparing for the 2013 season,” Agler continued. “I’m confident in our coaching staff and our players that we will compete each and every night out. The Western Conference will be as competitive as it’s ever been and we expect to be right in the thick of things.”
“While it’s heartfelt and disappointing for me not to be joining my teammates in Seattle for the coming season,” Jackson said, “I have to be fair to the club and give them enough time to prepare for my absence this season and make the best decision for all concerned. Although my surgery has been successful and post-operative medical opinion is that I will make a full recovery, clearly I was not going to be fit, ready or confident for the demands of the WNBA season. The Seattle Storm have been so supportive to me over many seasons, it’s only fair I give them the best possible opportunity and time to prepare for this coming season. My main and only focus at the moment is to get my body right through fitness, strength and skills. After that I will look at my options and an on court plan that best suits me for the future as I want to play on for some time yet.”
The Storm roster now stands at nine players.
The 2010 WNBA champion Seattle Storm is one of six independently owned teams in the WNBA, the world’s preeminent women’s professional basketball league. Established in 2000, the Storm is committed to bringing outstanding professional basketball to a diverse and rapidly growing fan base. The team also plays an active role in promoting literacy, health and fitness, support for women and girls and youth basketball in local communities. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit StormBasketball.com.