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Jackson to decide in March on Rio Olympics

  • Jackson to decide in March on Rio Olympics

    Australian basketball great Lauren Jackson still holds out hope of playing at the Rio Olympics.

Australia's greatest female basketballer Lauren Jackson will decide next month whether to make herself available for the Rio Olympics.

The 34-year-old has been struggling to overcome a ongoing knee injury and came close to calling it quits after being hospitalised with an infection in her joint following surgery last month.

But after a chat with Opals coach Brendan Joyce on Wednesday, and with the backing of Basketball Australia, Jackson said playing at a fifth Olympics was still her goal.

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"After the infection in my knee joint I was saying `no, I can't do it anymore'," she told reporters in Canberra.

"But I have had so much support it's been unbelievable.

"I am hopeful. I am going to give it a go. It's only a month. If my knee responds with the treatment that they're doing, then I will keep going.

"If I did make it to Rio, it would be an absolute miracle and the best thing in the world.

"Whatever my decision is, I am really confident that it will be the right one because I am giving it that time."

The four-time Olympic medallist was in January released from her WNBL contract with the Canberra Capitals, having played just six games in the past five years.

The club will farewell her at a game on Friday.

"It's the end of an era for me," she added.

Departing Capitals coach and former Opals mentor Carrie Graf said Jackson had been an iconic player at every level - especially on the Olympic stage.

She said everyone would love to see her pull on the boots in Rio for a fairytale end to her career.

"She doesn't quit on anything and she'll fight till the death," said Graf.

"As you see now, if there's a glimmer of hope she's going to give it a crack and credit it to her for that - it's one of her great qualities."

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