Within the last week, speculation grew that Storm center Lauren Jackson would not join Spartak Moscow Region this year in the wake of the death of team owner Shabtai von Kalmanovic and instead play in her native Australia this offseason. Those rumors were confirmed Wednesday morning down under, with the WNBL announcing that Jackson has signed with the TransACT Canberra Capitals squad for which she starred from 1999-00 through 2005-06.
“I didn’t think this would happen for a while anyway, [to] come back to play in the WNBL in Canberra,” Jackson told ABC Sport Grandstand. “I’m really relieved and happy that I get to be back in Canberra with the Caps. My family is not too far away and it’s very refreshing being back home.”
Jackson, who is currently rehabbing at the Australian Institute of Sport, is near being cleared to play after sitting out three months following the diagnosis of stress fractures in her lower back late in the Storm’s regular season. She anticipates being able to join the Capitals on the court early next month, possibly on Dec. 5 at Bendigo.
Canberra has 12 games left in the 22-game regular season, with two of them to be played this week. Because WNBL rules prohibit teams from adding players after the midpoint of the season, Jackson had to be signed before tonight’s game. The schedule runs through Feb. 12. At 6-4, the Capitals are currently fifth in the 10-team WNBL.
Jackson will miss Sunday’s game against Sydney, but will square off with Storm teammate and close friend Suzy Batkovic-Brown in January.
Here’s a link to Jackson’s audio interview with Grandstand.