FIBA World Cup 2022, Lauren Jackson, Opals, Australia vs France, news, preview, comeback, Elizabeth Cambage,

How good could Lauren Jackson have been?

We will never know.

Because while Jackson is considered the greatest Australian basketball player of all time, women’s athletic performance worldwide has suffered from a lack of equality in scientific research.

It’s a point not lost by Jackson, 41, who will come off the bench in today’s FIBA ​​World Championship opener against France in Sydney.

Watch every 2022 FIBA ​​Women’s Basketball World Cup game live and for free on ESPN with Kayo Freebies. Sign up now, no credit card required.

“Female bodies have definitely suffered from a lack of knowledge,” Jackson said.

“The norm for research has always been the male athlete…we haven’t seen exercise science address female issues like the menstrual cycle, which adds an extra layer of complexity to performance,” Jackson said.

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“The problem with this is trying to transfer existing research – based on men – to women.

“I have suffered greatly from endometriosis my entire career; A lot of women do that, but we don’t talk about it and just keep going… but I think it’s going to be amazing when we understand, accept and really support women athletes.

“This will be THE moment for women’s sport.

“Real justice has many facets. Visibility matters, resources, facilities… and now research. So, I think there’s an argument that we haven’t seen a woman in any sport at her best – because it wasn’t backed by science.

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“So we still have a lot of moments ahead of us.”

Women’s sport has seen significant growth and deepening engagement in recent years, and streaming service Kayo and Fox has responded with a record number of women’s sport lessons from September to October.

Kayo Sports Marketing Director Kim McConnie said: “Kayo Sports is passionate about providing a platform for women’s sport to grow and thrive. There is an incredible equinox of women’s sport in the coming months as we deliver the greatest relays of AFLW, NRLW, WBBL and of course the FIBA ​​Women’s World Cup.”

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“We have more than 1.3 million Kayo subscribers and counting, and we’re seeing them watching more and more women’s sports.”

Jackson’s selection for the FIBA ​​World Cup represents one of the greatest comebacks by an Australian athlete of any stripe – and gender.

She spent the better part of six months rebuilding her “retirement body” to become the Opals X-Factor.

Chronic knee injuries forced Jackson into international retirement in 2013 after 220 appearances, and while she’s admitted to self-doubt “every day” during her Opals comeback, she has complete confidence in her teammates.

Lauren Jackson with Marianna Tolo.
Lauren Jackson with Marianna Tolo.Source: Getty Images

“I was afraid to go to that first training camp, the girls were from a much younger generation, but they hugged me from day one,” she said.

“Culturally, they’ve worked hard since losing in the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics and I’ve never met a more coordinated team.

“To be honest I’m not sure what happened with the whole thing with Liz (Cambage) – nobody is talking about it and everyone has moved on.

“This is a team that looks after each other off the pitch and on the pitch it was physical.

“In terms of physicality, it’s like the ancient Opals…that has always been key to the Opals’ success. Our girls worked hard to get to the ring, take the hits… and not complain.

“You can’t buy that. I couldn’t be more impressed with this group, regardless of the result.”

And the group couldn’t be more impressed with the 6’2″ Jackson’s no-ego Jackie Howe work ethic.

“I know I can’t do the things I used to do, but I can’t wait to play my part, play hard on defence, take the open shot, be present and be physical being on the boards…whatever I can do to help.

“I think my role is to go out and… be me.”

Emma Meesseman of Belgium, Ivana Raca of Serbia, Lauren Jackson and Ariel Atkins of the USA pose next to the Women’s Basketball World Cup trophy. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

However, not everyone is so excited about her comeback. Jackson joked, “My youngest Lenny isn’t on speaking terms with me at the moment… he’s not happy mum’s not home so he’s giving me the cold shoulder… but my eldest is excited he’s here and getting to see me play his.” The highlight will be an ice cream.”


Thursday, September 22 at 7:30 p.m

Watch every 2022 FIBA ​​Women’s Basketball World Cup game live and for free on ESPN with Kayo Freebies. Sign up now, no credit card required.

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