A career that started on the backcourts of the Albury Sports Centre has been immortalised as Lauren Jackson officially enters the hall of basketball's greatest.
Jackson became the first Australian player inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Springfield. She joins Lindsay Gaze as the only Australians in the illustrious group.
The Australian basketball great boasts a resume including five WNBL titles [four with the Canberra Capitals and one with the AIS], two WNBA titles, four WNBL most valuable player awards to go with three in the WNBA, and four Olympic Games medals.
It is a legacy so remarkable that a place in the Hall of Fame seemed a fait accompli.
"This is absolutely a dream come true," Jackson said. "It's one of the greatest honors of my entire life, and it's something that I'm going to cherish for the rest of my life. It's so special to be enshrined as the first of many Australians basketball players.
"I just want to express my gratitude and just wish I could be there. Thank you very much. Have a great day and hopefully I can get over there one day to celebrate with you all."
Jackson appeared via video link and took the chance to thank the three teams with whom she played most of her career - the Capitals, Seattle Storm, and the Australian national team.
"They gave me an opportunity to have this platform and play the game that I love," Jackson said. "They also gave me a family and a home within their organisations, which is something that I truly cherish."
The five-time WNBL champion took a moment to think about the people who led her to basketball's highest accolade.
From her parents, to coaches, to teammates, and to the fans who filled the stands watching her put on a show in Canberra or suit up for Seattle.
"Without your unconditional love and support throughout the years, I don't know if I would have ever achieved what I did in the sport," Jackson said. "I am forever in debt to you and just everything you do for me, and I will be eternally grateful."
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