For the first time in the history of the Seattle Storm as a franchise, they will be retiring a former player's uniform. Lauren Jackson will return to Seattle on July 15th for the ceremony, the team announced today. This will be the first time the Australian native will be in Seattle since she left the team in 2012.
"My years in Seattle were some of the best in my basketball career," said Jackson. "I am looking forward to seeing Jenny, Sue [Bird] and the rest of the team, and celebrating the 12 years I spent in Seattle with the best fans in the WNBA."
Head coach, Jenny Boucek had this to say on the announcement:
"As hard as the finality of this is, I am extremely excited to celebrate Lauren's career. She was a player that wowed me on a regular basis and remains a friend that I will treasure for life. In my opinion, she is the most dominant player the women's game has ever seen.
"Not only was she the most talented, but she was also second to none as a fierce competitor. She is one of those rare players that, when she would set foot in a gym, everyone knew we could win a championship."
Future Storm players will no longer have the option to wear the uniform #15, however for years to come; many people will be able to look up and see the Storm's leading scorer and rebounder's uniform.
A few months ago, Jackson retired after she had not been able to return to the court due to various injuries. When she did play, she was a force to be reckoned with. She showed her loyalty to the Storm, playing all 12 of her WNBA seasons with them.
During her career, she started in 358 games, brought home two championships in 2004 and 2010, and scored 6,007 career points (first in Storm history, seventh in the WNBA all-time), to name a few of her accomplishments.
Anybody who follows any sport knows that it is not only an honor, but extremely tough to win an MVP award. Jackson accomplished winning the award three times (2003,'07, '10) in her career. Doing this made her the first and only WNBA player to win the Most Valuable Player award who is from outside the USA and tied for the most in league history with Sheryl Swoopes and Lisa Leslie.
Jackson is a very well-known name in the league and her dedication to the game will forever be remembered. The announcement of her jersey being retired, comes days after being selected as one of the Top 20 players in WNBA history. Before this, she was also named to the league's All-Decade Team back in 2006.
To have her jersey retired is one of the greatest honors a player could receive. There is no doubt the KeyArena will be packed come July 15th when Jackson's jersey is retired, her first appearance back in the city in years, and the Storm take on the Washington Mystics.