Lauren Jackson Announces Retirement from Professional Basketball

Lauren Jackson Announces Retirement from Professional Basketball

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Two-Time WNBA Champion Departs as Seattle’s All-Time Leading Scorer, Rebounder

Lauren Jackson & Sue Bird/Steph Brusig
Lauren Jackson & Sue Bird/Steph Brusig

Three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson has announced that she has retired from professional basketball.

“I believe Lauren is the most dominant player the WNBA has ever seen,” said Storm head coach Jenny Boucek. “It was an honor to witness such greatness. She wowed us daily. We are grateful for her incredible impact on the game of women’s basketball and the city of Seattle.”

Boucek added, “As much as I’ve treasured our time on the court, the thing that I value most is our life-long friendship.”

Drafted by Seattle first overall in the 2001 WNBA Draft, Jackson ranks sixth all-time in the WNBA in points scored (6,007), eighth in rebounding (2,447) and third in blocks (586). Jackson was named to the WNBA’s All-Decade Team in 2006 and one of the top 15 WNBA players of all-time in 2011 at the 2011 WNBA All-Star game, during the league’s 15th season.

Jackson, who last played for the Seattle Storm in 2012, is the Storm’s all-time leader in scoring (6,007), rebounding (2,447) and blocks (586). She poured in a then-WNBA single-game scoring record 47 points, on 18-of-28 shooting, on July 24, 2007 at Washington. One of three players all-time to earn three WNBA MVP awards, Jackson collected the honor in 2003, 2007 and 2010. Jackson is an eight-time WNBA All-Star, seven-time All-WNBA First Team honoree and was named the 2007 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.

“The Seattle Storm would like to recognize Lauren Jackson for all that she has meant to our organization,” a statement read. “Her presence and prowess are irreplaceable. She is one of the greatest players in the game of basketball and we are honored that she has called Seattle home for so many years. We send our best wishes as she moves on to new challenges in her life.”

“I’m not sure I have the right words to describe what today means,” said Storm point guard Sue Bird. “In many ways, Lauren’s retirement is a sad thing, but it also gives all of us a chance to reflect on what an amazing career she had. For me, it’s a reminder of how thankful I am that I got to play alongside her. As a young pro athlete you go through a lot, both on and off the court, and I can’t imagine going through it with anyone other than Lauren. We accomplished a lot together on the court, but it’s the friendship that we built off of it that I’m even more thankful for. She’ll always be the best player this franchise has ever seen and one of the best teammates I’ve ever had.”

Lauren Jackson/WNBA
Lauren Jackson/WNBA

Former Storm player Ashley Robinson said, “Most people will remember how great Lauren was on the court. I’m blessed because the memories I will take away will be us singing Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ before every game in 2007, Lauren inviting us out to Seattle’s Kangaroo & Kiwi just to leave early and not say bye, quoting Madea word-for-word in her ‘black, southern crazy old lady voice’ until we all cried laughing, and the little things like our daily hugs and juicy girl talk sessions. She is the greatest of the great and will be missed on and off the court.”

Jackson led the Storm to its historic 2010 WNBA Championship, going undefeated in the postseason (7-0), and becoming the second team in league history to remain perfect during the regular-season home slate (17-0). She finished that season ranked fourth in scoring average (20.5), seventh in rebounds per game (8.3) and fifth in blocks per game (1.2). She rattled off seven-straight games of 20-plus scoring efforts, was named the 2010 WNBA MVP, her third such honor, and the 2010 WNBA Finals MVP for her postseason efforts.

Averaging 20.5 points and 6.6 rebounds throughout the regular season in 2004, Jackson was named to the All-WNBA First-Team en route to leading the Storm to its first WNBA Championship. That season, she led the league in scoring average for a second-consecutive year, scoring in double-figures in 31 games. Her 2003 WNBA MVP honor was the first-ever international-born player and youngest in league history. As a rookie in 2001, Jackson led all WNBA rookies in every major statistical category, including scoring, rebounding, steals, blocks, and minutes.

Former Storm Head Coach Brian Agler said, “Lauren will go down as the most dominant player during her era. Unfortunately, injuries shortened her career, but her play and how she influenced winning was legendary. Lauren was highly skilled, fiercely competitive and a very loyal teammate. I’m extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach Lauren. The Lauren Jackson/Sue Bird combination was the best, most difficult to defend. Bottom line, Lauren Jackson was the most versatile post player to ever play the game and she set the standard to where all posts will be measured.”

Jackson boasts an incredible international basketball resume, winning six WNBL Championships and is a four-time WNBL MVP. She has three Olympic silver medals (2000, 2004, 2008), and one Olympic bronze medal (2012); one FIBA World Championship gold (2006), and two bronze medals (1998, 2002), all coming with the Australian Opals Women’s National Team.

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