Incredible moment Aussie basketball legend Lauren Jackson learns she is making Opals return

Australian basketball legend Lauren Jackson was overwhelmed with emotion as she learned of his astonishing comeback nine years after his country’s last performance was rewarded with selection to the Opals’ World Cup squad .

In a beautiful twist of fate, Opals coach Sandy Brondello – a former Australian teammate of Jackson’s – was the one to break the news in a heartwarming video posted by Basketball Australia.

At 41, Jackson was lured out of international retirement in June ahead of September’s World Cup here in Australia.

Incredibly, Jackson made her international debut 25 years ago, with her final appearance before her retirement in 2013. She last played in a FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup in 2010.

“Congratulations, Lauren Jackson, you’re going to another World Cup,” Brondello said with a smile.

‘Nope!’ Jackson exclaimed happily, putting her head in her hands as she was overcome with emotion at the news.

Brondello made it clear that this was not a sentimental selection, but honoring one of Australia’s greatest female basketball players of all time was a fair and square winner.

“You should be incredibly proud, Lauren, and I’m incredibly proud; because what you have done to achieve this is truly amazing. It says a lot about you as a person,” Brondello said.

“You have so deserved this with what you have done on the pitch. We didn’t know what was possible… I never doubted you, but it was just if your body could hold out – and it did.

Fighting back tears, Jackson admitted she “didn’t know what to say.”

Jackson admitted she cried when Brondello told her of his selection.

Jackson admitted she cried when Brondello told her of his selection.

“There were a lot of emotions when Sandy called me, I cried a little to be honest,” Jackson said.

“I worked hard with my body and honestly didn’t know if it was going to hold up to my intense training regimen, but it did and I feel great.”

Brondello, herself a four-time World Cup athlete, said Jackson deserved her spot.

“Making the final cut at twelve is always tough with so many great athletes pushing for selection,” she said.

“The training camp in New York demonstrated just how much each of these athletes wanted to compete at home, the competition for a spot on the team was fierce.”

“Of course Lauren’s inclusion is the talking point but from my perspective she did the job and deserves to be here, she will add another dimension to our team dynamic,” Brondello said. .

Speaking at the team’s training camp in New York in July, Jackson was already thinking about the prospect of representing his country once again.

“I’m so moved to talk about it. I never thought I would represent Australia again,” she said.

Jackson, a four-time WNBA MVP, has won titles in the United States, Australia, Spain and Russia, as well as three Olympic silver medals and a bronze.

She retired from playing in 2016 after knee injuries derailed her career, and in a press conference at the time she said basketball was “the love of her life. ”.

The Australian legend had no intention of playing competitively again after undergoing a partial right knee replacement and dealing with a torn ACL followed by a staph infection.



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