Lauren Jackson, who led the Seattle Storm to two WNBA championships, is among a list of first-time nominees who are eligible for the induction in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The other members of the Class of 2021 include Yolanda Griffith, Paul Pierce, Michael Cooper, Doug Collins, Val Ackerman, Lou Henson and Howard Garfinkel.
The first-time nominees joins a long list of eligible nominees including Swin Cash, Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Chris Webber, Ben Wallace and Becky Hammon among others.
Jackson, who was taken No. 1 overall in the 2001 WNBA draft by the Storm, compiled a long list of achievements and accolades during her 12-year WNBA career, which was cut short by hip and leg injuries.
In Seattle, the 6-foot-5 center won two WNBA titles, three WNBA MVP awards, a WNBA Finals MVP and a WNBA Defensive Player of the Year award. She led the league in scoring three times and was a seven-time WNBA All-Star.
Jackson was voted to the WNBA’s 10-player All-Decade team in 2006 and the Storm retired her No. 15 jersey.
Still, Jackson had a greater impact in Australia where she’s considered the country’s greatest basketball player of all time.
At 16, Jackson began her professional career in Australia, where she was a four-time WNBL MVP. The same year, she became the youngest woman to ever play for the Australian Women’s National team nicknamed The Opals.
Jackson won three straight silver Olympic medals (2000, ’04 and ’08) and a bronze in the 2012 Summer Games. She also claimed two consecutive World Championship bronze medals (1998 and ’02) before guiding Australia to first ever gold medal in 2006 at the World Championships in Brazil.
Jackson announced her retirement in 2016, four years after her final game after unsuccessful attempts to return due to injuries.
Finalists for the Class of 2021 will be announced during the NBA All-Star Weekend, which is scheduled for early March.
The 2021 class will be announced during the NCAA Final Four in early April.
And the Class of 2021 enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for September 2021 in Springfield, Mass.
The Class of 2020 enshrinement ceremony, a star-studded group highlighted by Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, has been rescheduled for May 13-15 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. due to COVID-19.