Hall of Famer Lauren Jackson returned to the court with Australia’s Albury Wodonga Bandits on Saturday, two months after coming out of retirement.
In her first game back, Jackson looked to be in top form, recording 21 points, five rebounds and one block to lead the Bandits to a 78-61 victory over the Central Coast Crusaders.
The 40-year-old hasn’t played professionally in six years after an illustrious career that included three WNBA MVP awards, four WNLB MVP honors, four Olympics with the Australian national team and seven appearances in the WNBA All-Star Game. Jackson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last year as part of the Class of 2021.
She's back! 😍Lauren Jackson with her debut points of her NBL1 careerWatch #NBL1East live and free on https://t.co/NEk1I7BLMG and the #NBL1 App 🏀 pic.twitter.com/yJPUHJH4tM— NBL1 (@NBL1) April 23, 2022
She's back! 😍Lauren Jackson with her debut points of her NBL1 careerWatch #NBL1East live and free on https://t.co/NEk1I7BLMG and the #NBL1 App 🏀 pic.twitter.com/yJPUHJH4tM
Jackson announced her return to Australia’s second-tier NBL1 league in February after knee injuries forced her to retire in 2016.
“We’re just over the moon that Lauren’s playing for her hometown and her home club,” Bandits president Luke Smith said after she signed with the team. “It’s huge for the Albury Wodonga Bandits and for the Albury Wodonga community.”