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WNBA, Australian star Lauren Jackson announcing retirement

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Per reports, arguably Australia’s best female athlete, Lauren Jackson is set to announce her retirement on Thursday.

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As reported by the Canberra Times, Lauren Jackson met with her teammates Wednesday to inform them she has decided to step away from the game and would make it official on Thursday with an announcement at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

With her retirement coming sooner then she may have initially wanted, Jackson will not be able to go for her fifth Olympic Games this summer in Rio to play for a gold medal.

It was at the AIS where Jackson entered the basketball scene leading her team to the Women's National Basketball League champs back in 1998. From there she played for the Canberra Capitals on an off until 2006.

In 2001, the Seattle Storm drafted Jackson as the overall number one pick. Jackson has played her entire career with the Seattle Storm. Jackson had a great career there before she ran into numerous injuries that prolonged her from being able to play.

She is a very decorated player bringing much attention to Seattle with her great play. Her list of accomplishments are as follows:

  • 7× WNBA All-Star (2001-2003, 2005-2007, 2009)
  • 3× WNBA MVP (2003, 2007, 2010)
  • 2× WNBA Champion (2004, 2010)
  • 3× WNBA Scoring Champ (2003, 2004, 2007)
  • WNBA Finals MVP (2010)
  • WNBA Rebounding Champ (2007)
  • WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (2007)
  • 5× All-WNBA First Team (2003-2007, 2009-2010)
  • All-WNBA Second Team (2008)
  • best WNBA Player ESPY (2004, 2005, 2008)
  • WNBA's All-Decade Team (2006)
  • WNBA's Top 15 Team (2011)
  • Women's Korea Basketball League MVP (2007)

It is too bad Jackson ran into huge injuries which kept her from playing. Jackson has even stated the fact she will have arthritis in her knees for life, sharing with the Canberra Times her fears of not being able to play basketball (or other sports) with her future children due to how badly her knees have gotten from playing.

"Absolutely I want to have a family ... If I don't do some work to get my knee strong, regardless of what happens with the Olympics, I'm not sure if I'd be able to play one on one with my kids in the backyard.

That's something I experienced in my childhood and I loved. I definitely want to be able to share with my children [in the future]. Whatever sport they might choose, I want to be a part of it and be active."

During the offseason of the WNBA, Jackson has played in China and Korea. In 2013, Jackson suffered a hamstring injury missing the entire season. The next year, she had surgery on her right knee and left Achilles again sidelining her.

Unfortunately, the injuries did not stop as she needed surgery on her right hip in September of 2014. Jackson wanted to return to playing for the storm, but her knee needed further rehab once again pushing back her return to the court.

Jackson played in 317 games for the Storm starting every one of them. She career averages per game were 7.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.8 blocks and 18.9 points. The 2007 season was her best scoring and rebounding year averaging 23.8 points and 9.7 rebounds. In 2005, she was inducted into the Australian Institute of Sport 'Best of the Best'.

The Canberra Times reported the announcement of her retirement will come at the AIS, where she began her career, and now the place she will step away from playing almost 20 years later.