Lauren Jackson is an Australian professional basketball player that started her long and influential career at just 14 years old when she was selected for the Australian under-20 team.
Since then, she’s gone on to represent the country at four Olympic Games and ranks amongst the world’s best basketball players of all time. Lauren was the first Australian player inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in the USA and was selected as a forward by the Seattle Storm in 2001 upon entry to the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association).
She’s also played in leagues in Europe, Korea and China. We were privileged to have her join the Sports Advisory Board at Levin Health in 2022.
In 2016, Jackson was forced to retire from basketball due to injuries and chronic pain sustained from years of competing at an elite level.
A meniscus tear in 2014 led to ongoing issues with Lauren’s knee. She underwent an estimated 15 operations to fix the painful problem. She said that despite pushing for her “fairy-tale ending”, she’d accepted that she would be unable to get back on the court professionally.
After her retirement, Lauren spoke at length of the significant challenges she incurred from various therapies throughout her playing career.
In 2022 Lauren came out of retirement. Despite thinking it would be “absolutely stupid” to believe she’d make the World Cup squad this year, she returned to the court – 25 years after her international debut.
“You should be incredibly proud, Lauren. And I am incredibly proud because what you did to achieve this, really is amazing. It shows a lot about you as a person and your hard work and dedication. Hey, you put your mind to it, and here it is.”Sandy Brondello (New York Liberty and Australian team coach) to Lauren Jackson
This incredible turnaround was put down to a rigorous fitness regime and new approach to treatment for her chronic pain. Jackson bounced back in outstanding form; she was averaging 32.6 points and 11.6 rebounds.
There remains a stigma surrounding medicinal cannabis in Australia, which motivated Lauren Jackson to join the board at Levin Health.
She joins a dream team of Australian sports stars working with the company to address the stigma alongside the broader issue of chronic pain from sports. NRL Immortal Andrew Johns, AFL coaches and former players Damien Hardwick and Alastair Clarkson, and Racing Hall of Famer Damien Oliver are also on the board.