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Lauren Jackson retires from basketball

  • Lauren Jackson retires from basketball

    Australian basketballer Lauren Jackson will not be going to Rio after announcing her retirement.

Lauren Jackson's dream of competing for gold at a fifth Olympic Games is over, with injury forcing Australia's greatest female basketballer into retirement.

Jackson confirmed on Thursday she will not be going to Rio after failing to fully recover from successive knee surgeries and complications.

The 34-year-old had undergone testing earlier this week ahead of the Opals' first team camp at Canberra's Australian Institute of Sport, where she made the announcement.

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"It really is so surreal retiring here where it all began 19 years ago," Jackson said.

"Today I'm announcing my retirement from the love of my life, basketball.

"Two years ago I hurt me knee playing in China, it wasn't a terrible injury but it was enough - I pulled my meniscus out of the root of my bone.

"I didn't think it was a big deal, nobody did.

"My knee ended up degenerating really really fast, I got arthritis pretty quickly and since then I've had multiple surgeries."

The four-time Olympic medallist knew she needed an "absolute miracle" to make the trip to Brazil but never gave up hope.

She came close to calling it quits in January after being hospitalised with an infection in her knee joint stemming from surgery.

That same month she was released from her WNBL contract with the Canberra Capitals, having managed to play just six games in the past five years.

Jackson first played for the Opals in 1997, the team's youngest debutante at 16.

She went on to help them win silver at the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics, before claiming bronze at London - where she was also Australia's flagbearer at the opening ceremony.

Both her parents, father Gary and mother Maree, also represented Australia in basketball.

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