LAUREN THE GREAT'S LAST STAND
Friday, June 22, 2012
THE plush new $27 million State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South will be the launching pad for Australia’s greatest female basketballer Lauren Jackson’s last tilt at Olympic gold.
Jackson, the essential pivot of Australia’s three consecutive Olympic silver medal winning teams, remains the key element as the Jayco Opals round off their three-match Farewell series against the world’s No.6 ranked team Brazil at Knox on Thursday, June 28.
Jackson, 31, has missed much of the season with her WNBA club Seattle Storm to focus on preparing for the London Olympics.
"This could very well be my last show at the Olympics. I wanted to give it the best shot that I could because it could potentially be really special,’’ Jackson told the Seattle Times.
"We're talking about possibly playing the Americans. They could field three teams and win gold, silver and bronze. But we have some talent, too, and I want to have the opportunity to give it the best shot we can. Who knows how good we could be?"
A three-time winner of the WNBA Most Valuable Player and a four-time winner of the same award in the Australian national league, Jackson remains the most decorated and dominant player in world basketball.
Should she should choose retirement after the London Games, it would mean this clash against the Brazilians would be her Australian farewell.
Knox makes for a fitting conclusion to the Brazil series given the Opals’ personnel.
It is familiar territory for star guard/forward Jenna O’Hea, who started out as a Nunawading junior before going on to be part of back to back WNBL titles with Bulleen and Dandenong in the past two seasons.
Veteran forward Belinda Snell is a former Knox junior, while the local Opals content runs high with Liz Cambage, Rachel Jarry and Sam Richards (all Bulleen), Kathleen Macleod (Dandenong) and Bendigo Spirit guard Kristi Harrower all London bound.
The brand new State Basketball Centre, 291 George Street, Wantirna South will hold the Opals final game they play in the Farewell Series before they head overseas, tip-off at 7:00pm. Purchase your tickets now by going to www.foxtix.com.au.