SEATTLE – The Seattle Storm today announced plans to celebrate Lauren Jackson’s career and retire her number 15, the first jersey retired in franchise history. Jackson will return to Seattle for the first time since 2012 for the ceremony on July 15 at KeyArena.
“As hard as the finality of this is, I am extremely excited to celebrate Lauren’s career,” said Storm head coach Jenny Boucek. “She was a player that wow’ed me on a regular basis and remains a friend that I will treasure for life. In my opinion, she is the most dominant player the women’s game has ever seen. Not only was she the most talented, but she was also second to none as a fierce competitor. She is one of those rare players that, when she would set foot in a gym, everyone knew we could win a championship.”
Jackson played all of her 12 WNBA seasons in Seattle, starting 358 total games and guiding the Storm to championships in 2004 and 2010. With 6,007 career points, she ranks first in franchise history and seventh among the WNBA all-time scoring leaders. She also ranks ninth all-time in rebounds (2,447) and third in blocks (586). The first and only WNBA Most Valuable Player born outside the United States, Jackson won the MVP award three times (2003, ’07, ’10), tied for the most in league history. The 6-6 center became the youngest-ever MVP by earning the award at 22 years old in 2003. When the Storm defeated Atlanta to win the 2010 title, Jackson was named Finals MVP.
“My years in Seattle were some of the best in my basketball career,” said Jackson. “I am looking forward to seeing Jenny, Sue [Bird] and the rest of the team, and celebrating the 12 years I spent in Seattle with the best fans in the WNBA.”
A perennial All-Star, Jackson finished with career averages of 18.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. She averaged more than 20 points per game in five different seasons, including three years in which Jackson led the WNBA in scoring (2003, ’04, ’07). Her 2007 campaign was the most decorated season by an individual in league history: MVP, scoring champion, rebounding champion and Defensive Player of the Year. Jackson averaged career highs of 23.8 points and 9.7 rebounds per game on 51.9 percent shooting that season, posting the best player efficiency rating of all time (35.0). She is one of two players in WNBA history to lead the league in both scoring and rebounding in the same season.
After being named to the WNBA’s All-Decade Team in 2006, Jackson was honored as one of the league’s all-time top 15 players at the 2011 All-Star Game. On Tuesday, she was selected to the WNBA Top 20@20 presented by Verizon, which recognized the 20 greatest and most influential players in league history.
On the international stage, Jackson guided the Australian National Team to medals at four consecutive Olympic Games. The Opals claimed silver medals in 2000, 2004 and 2008, and took home the bronze in 2012. Jackson and the Opals also won gold at the FIBA World Championship in 2006. She made her debut for the National Team at 16 years old.