Four-time Olympic medalist Lauren Jackson named to Australia qualifying team

Lauren Jackson's international basketball career with the Australian national team will have at least one more chapter to it.

The 42-year-old three-time WNBA MVP, who has won four Olympic medals with Australia, was announced as part of the Opals team that will play in Brazil next month at the Paris qualifying tournament.

Jackson capped off an incredible comeback at the World Cup in 2022, helping the host nation win a bronze medal. She scored 30 points in that game to help Australia rout Canada 95-65. She had retired from playing in 2016 after knee injuries derailed her career, missing the Rio Olympics. She slowly returned, playing in a domestic Australian league the last few years.

Her illustrious WNBA career ended in 2012 with her walking away as one of the best players in league history.

Jackson is one of eight players from the World Cup bronze medal team that will be playing in Brazil. She'll be joined by current WNBA players Cayla George (Las Vegas), Bec Allen (Connecticut), Sami Whitcomb (Seattle) and Ezi Magbegor (Seattle).

“Brazil is first up and with the home crowd they will be tough, Germany is a team on the rise and we have a really competitive history against Serbia, so there are no easy games," Australia coach Sandy Brondello said. "We have limited preparation time for this window but we will take that as a motivator, this is where our experienced players will really make a difference. We are completely locked in now on the three games and securing our Olympic spot.”

There are four global tournaments from Feb. 8-11 in Brazil, Belgium, Hungary and China. The top three teams from each group will qualify for the Paris Games with the exception of the pods that the U.S. and France are in. The Americans have qualified for the Olympics by winning the World Cup. France qualified as the host nation. In their pods, only the top two teams other than the Americans and French will advance.