Lauren Jackson�s Mailbag

Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson is proving that last season's MVP award was no mistake. The native Australian is averaging 18.8 points per game and 7.1 assists per game. She will also be representing her country at the upcoming Olympic Games in Athens and hopes to improve upon the silver medal she won at the Sydney games in 2000.

During her time in New York City this week, the 6-5 Jackson led a Read to Achieve reading event at the NBA Store, tallied a double-double in a win over the N.Y. Liberty and stopped by to answer some of your questions.

Q: Hi Lauren! I just absolutely love watching you play because I think you are the most skilled offensive player in the entire WNBA. You can score inside and shoot the three with deadly accuracy. I had a question about your rivalry with Lisa Leslie. Do you get along with her and when Seattle plays Los Angeles, do you feel extra motivated because you're going up against Leslie?
-Ejaz (Floral Park, N.Y.)

A: "I don't really know Lisa off the court. But as far as being motivated when I play against her - I definitely love playing against her; she is an unbelievable player. Lisa is my toughest opponent for sure!"

Jackson loves the WNBA, but is proud to be Australian
(Ray Amati/NBAE/Getty Images)
Q: Hi Lauren, Which do you most enjoy playing: wnba, olympics or wnbl? And what is your prognosis on the Opals 2004 Olympics campaign. Will we get the gold this year?
-Marissa (Sydney, Australia)

A: "We have a great shot at winning the gold medal this year. I have to say that the WNBA, the Olympics and the WNBL each have perks. I love the WNBA, as it is the best league in the world, and some of my best friends are here. I miss them when I'm home. The WNBL, what can I say, it's in my home of Australia and I love it as well. The Olympics is such a privilege just to be a part of."

Q: The Olympics are coming up, and Sue Bird knows your game pretty well. Are you worried that she might share some of your moves with her U.S. teammates?
-Jezza (Sydney, Australia)

A: "They all know my game well, but I know theirs too!!"

Q: How hard will it be, do you think, for all you Olympians to go back to the larger ball in August for the Olympics and then go back to the smaller ball in September to finish out the WNBA season? Do you wish they all used the same sized ball? What size? Lauren, you're the best!!!!
-Sylvia (Seattle, WA)

A: "I think that it won't be a problem because I have done it so many times, but I definitely like the small ball better."

Q: Lauren, As a Seattle Storm fan and season ticket holder, I love that you play for Seattle, and look forward to a highly successful and playoff season. My question is if you were to play for any other team or coach, where or what team would be your preference, and why? Thanks. Go Storm!
-Helen (Seattle, WA)

A: "None, I don't even think about it. No, I don't think so. Anne Donovan has been so good for me as far as skill development and so forth. I just love the Storm program."

Q: Hey LJ, what kind of things can I do to work on my rebounding and shooting? Go Storm!!
-Nicole (Port Richey, FL)

A: "Practice makes perfect.... repetition."

Q: Hey Lauren, what is it like having achieved so many things but still being one of the youngest players in the league?
-Katie (Mountain View, CA)

A: "I don't even think about it really. Basketball is my whole life and it always has been, so I guess I just focus on getting better each year. Love the highs, live the lows."

Q: Lauren, Do you think that with Betty Lennox, Sheri Sam and Janelle Burse, that the Storm can have a chance at winning the WNBA title? I think that getting home court advantage through-out the play-offs will be a big factor this year, considering the parity.
-Dale (Rapid City, SD)

A: "For sure, we have a very well-roundede team. Now we just have to put all the pieces together and hope for that WNBA Championship!"

Q: One of the remarkable things about watching you on the court is how graceful you are, even making very awkward or difficult plays. Does surfing contribute to that by helping with balance and agility?
-Peter (Seattle, WA)

A: "Um! I don't think so. A lot of people say that my best basketball attributes were inherited from my parents so I guess they have had a lot to do with my skills."

Q: What's the toughest thing about being in a different country during the Olympics: adjusting to the food, adjusting to the local time, just the competition itself, or something else?
-Peg (Dulce, NM)

A: "I would say that the cultural differences are always a factor, but food and water are always hard to adjust to. It won't be like that at the Olympics through because they pretty much have all of that stuff covered."