Australian sporting icon Lauren Jackson inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

2021-05-17 03:06:05 GMT2021-05-17 11:06:05(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CANBERRA, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Australia's most successful basketball player Lauren Jackson has been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021.

Basketball Australia, the governing body for the sport, said on Monday that Jackson's status as one of basketball's greatest ever players was further cemented by the election as she will become the first Australian athlete to be inducted as a player into the Hall of Fame.

"I'm just a girl from country New South Wales who worked hard to be the best I could be and if that inspires others to follow in my footsteps and chase their own goals and aspirations, then that's the most enriching Award I can receive," Jackson spoke from her home in Albury.

"To everyone who has played a role in my life and basketball career to date, all I can say is 'thank you' from the bottom of my heart. This Hall of Fame honor is as much yours as it is mine."

Jackson, 40, currently Basketball Australia's Head of Women in Basketball, remains Australia's most successful basketball player whose achievements include being a seven-time WNBA All-Star and three-time WNBA most valuable player.

With the Australian national team, Jackson, standing at 6'5" (1.96 meters) and a leading power forward or center, is a three-time Olympic silver medalist (2000, 2004, 2008).

Jackson, who was named the Australian International Player of the Year five times, also played in the Women's Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA) league and for domestic teams in Spain and Russia.

Jackson announced her retirement in 2016 after a knee injury that ruled her out of the Rio Olympic Games.

"Lauren is Australia's greatest ever basketballer and a true pioneer of women's sport," Basketball Australia interim Chairman John Carey said.

"The significance of this recognition cannot be understated, it's a landmark day for Australian sport, and it's only fitting that Lauren is set to become the first Australian athlete to be inducted as a player into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame."

The Class of 2021 Enshrinement festivities will be held in September, according to Basketball Australia.