Seattle Storm veteran Lauren Jackson has announced plans to make a run at a gold medal with her Basketball Australia team for the 2012 Olympic Games, Storm president Karen Bryant announced today. Jackson will train exclusively with her Australian team, the Jayco Opals, and miss the first three months of the 2012 WNBA season.
Jackson, who celebrates her 30th birthday May 11, has three Olympic silver medals to her credit, in 2000, 2004, and 2008. Basketball competition at the London Olympic Games runs from July 28-Aug. 11 and following that, Jackson will finish the 2012 season with the Storm.
The 2012 agreement came as a result of negotiations between Basketball Australia, Lauren Jackson’s management, and the Seattle Storm. “We appreciate the open dialogue we’ve had with Lauren and her representatives on this matter over the past weeks,” said Seattle Storm CEO Karen Bryant. “While we will miss her for the beginning of the season we are in full support of Lauren’s decision.”
Storm Head Coach Brian Agler also offered support for Jackson’s decision saying, “Lauren is one of the greatest competitors I’ve ever coached, so I can appreciate her drive to win a gold medal. Lauren is key to the Opals’ pursuit of a gold medal and we respect her decision. We will be ready to start the 2012 season without her and will welcome her back after the Olympics.”
Jackson, who is currently en route to Seattle to begin preparation for the 2011 season, was the WNBA’s regular-season and Finals MVP last year after leading the Storm to its second league title.
The Seattle Storm opens defense of its title in a nationally televised game on ABC against the Phoenix Mercury on ABC, June 4. For further information or to purchase tickets, visit www.StormBasketball.com.