Lauren Jackson to be Australia’s 2012 Olympics flag bearer
Widely regarded as the best female basketball player on the planet, Lauren Jackson has been chosen to carry the Australian flag at the 2012 London Olympics.
Though somewhat a surprise choice, Jackson’s credentials are extremely impressive.
Her achievements in the world’s premier female basketball competition, the WNBA, include:
- Championship winner – 2004, 2010
- MVP – 2003, 2007, 2010
- Finals Series MVP – 2010
- All-WNBA First Team – 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010
- All-Star – 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
- Defensive Player of the Year – 2007
- ESPN’s Best WNBA Player (ESPY) – 2004, 2005, 2008
- WNBA’s All-Decade Team
- 1st Overall Pick in the 2001 draft
- Holds the record for most points in a game with 47
In Australia’s WNBL, generally regarded as the second best competition in the world, she’s won a championship 5 times, been awarded the MVP trophy 3 times, and made the All Star team 5 times.
At international level, she’s led the Opals to 3 silver medals (2000, 2004, 2008), losing to the USA in each gold medal game.
Despite the Opals winning the World Championships in 2006, defeating Russia in the final - who shockingly upset America in the semi-finals – knocking the Yanks off for the Olympic gold medal is the one gap in her distinguished career.
It remains Jackson’s burning desire, and her childhood dream, but so far the American’s have resolutely stood in her way. At these Olympics, she‘ll get possibly her last chance to rectify that situation.
And there can be no better way to start that campaign than by proudly leading her nation into the opening ceremony.
Ryan is an ex-representative basketballer who shot too much, and a (very) medium pace bowler. He's been with The Roar as an expert since February 2011, has written for the Seven Network, and been a regular on ABC radio. Ryan tweets from @RyanOak.