Before Liz Cambage, Lauren Jackson was the face of Australian women’s basketball.
That career included a storied tenure in the WNBA where she won two championships with the Seattle Storm. She also is a three-time Olympic silver medalist and was named one of the WNBA’s 20 at 20 Greatest Players of All Time.
Jackson has chronicled her life on and off the court in a new book – My Story: A Life In Basketball and Beyond.
Much of it deals with how she dealt with anxiety and mental health issues while experiencing the international acclaim she received through the sport of basketball.
There were times when I literally had a knot in my stomach and I was thinking; ‘I just don’t want to go back to that place.
But there were other times I thought, ‘Wow, I totally forgot that happened.
Adjusting to life as a retired player was not easy either before her WNBL team, the Melbourne Boomers offered her a job to the point where she became Assistant General Manager.
It also made mention of Anne Donovan, her former coach with the Storm who recently passed away at the age of 65.
I was so nervous and anxious all the time and worried about what was to be rather than really embracing the moment. But once I got to Seattle, I felt like it was home. I felt safe there.
Jackson completed a degree in gender studies and is now working on an MBA while expecting another child. For her, advocacy for women in sports is also vital.
For me, it’s about seeing that representation and giving girls the opportunity to be able to make a living from playing sports.
I want to see them have the same resources and access to resources as what men do.