Lauren Jackson: Australia's best sportsperson. Ever.

LJ is Australia's best sportsperson. Ever. 

Controversial? Scroll her list of achievements, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who week-in,week-out displayed so much excellence over such a long period of time.

Not just in Australia's domestic competition but in the USA, the best domestic competition in the world. 

Not just a four-time Olympian, but topping many of the statistical tables while she was there. 

For many seasons she'd play the WNBA and WNBL in the same year, then back up to play at the international representative level. Or she'd do the same in the European or the South Korean League. 

At every level she exceeded expectations. This is a sad day. 

But after struggling with so much injury in the last few years, and achieving more than many sportspeople anywhere, she's more than earned her place in the sun. 

Zela pays tribute to LJ. 

 

WNBL (Women's National Basketball League)
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LJ made her WNBL debut as a 16-year-old in 1997 playing for the AIS team. Just two years later she helped the AIS win the WNBL Championships. 

LJ had a love affair with the Canberra Capitals. The Caps was her only Australian team besides the AIS where she began her career. Along with WNBL "super coach", Carrie Graf, they formed a formidable pair.

 

Canberra loved her back - hardly baulking at the highly paid contracts she commanded, often playing overseas when the Caps couldn't come to the party. She didn't play many games in the 2014/15 season, but when she did she still produced plays like this, despite arthritis in her knee. 

 

Just some of LJ's achievements in the WNBL:

  • 6 x WNBL Championships
  • 6 x All-Star
  • 4 x Most Valuable Player (MVP) - only just equalled in 2015/16 by Suzy Batkovic
  • 4 x Grand Final MVP
  • Named to the 25th Anniversary team as highest vote recipient
  • 4 x #1 total rebounds per game 
  • 3 x #1 leading/top scorer 
  • 3 x #1 points per game
  • 1 x #1 total rebounds 
  • 1 x #1 double-doubles 
  • WNBL Rookie of the Year
WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association in the USA)
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At 20-years-old, LJ made her WNBA debut in 2001. She was the WNBA's #1 draft pick.

That same season she was selected as an All-Star Western Conference reserve, the first ever Seattle Storm representative. She soared from there.

Just some of her WNBA achievements:  

  • WNBA #1 draft pick
  • 2 x WNBA Championships
  • 3 x MVP
  • 8 x All-Star
  • 7 x All-WNBA First Team
  • WNBA All-Decade 10th Anniversary Team
  • 3 x All-Star Western Conference starter
  • 3 x All-Star Western Conference reserve
  • 3 x #1 points per game
  • 2 x #1 total points
  • 1 x #1 total rebounds
  • 1 x #1 rebounds per game 
  • 1 x #1 double-doubles

She was always there for key moments. Like: 

And was recognised her for many of them:

She's such a star, there's even an LJ bobblehead:

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The Olympic Games
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LJ made her Olympic Games debut at just 19, in Sydney. She helped the Opals to a silver medal. She is a four-time Olympian. 

Just some of LJ's Olympics Achievements:

  • 4 x Olympic Games
  • 3 x silver 
  • 1 x bronze
  • 2 x #1 total points
  • 2 x #1 total rebounds
  • 1 x #1 points per game
  • 1 x #1 double-doubles 

 

Other Opals International Competitions
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At just 16, LJ made her debut for the Opals. She never looked back. 

Just some of her achievements in non-Olympic Games, Opals competitions: 

  • Youngest ever Opal at 16 (1997)
  • 5 x Australian International Player of the Year (Maher Medal) 
  • 1 x World Championship gold
  • 2 x World Championship bronze
  • 1 x World Championship #1 leading scorer
  • 1 x World Championship #1 points per game 
  • 1 x World Championship All-Star 5
  • 1 x World Cup MVP
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Europe and South Korean Leagues
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EuroLeague  

  • 1 x EuroLeague Championship with Spartak
  • 2 x EuroLeague All-Star
  • 1 x EuroLeague Final Four MVP

 

Other European competitions

  • 2 x Russian Championships
  • 1 x Spanish Championship

 

South Korean League (WKBL)

  • 1 x #1 points per game
  • 1 x #1 total points

 

Reactions
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