Home » ‘Mum guilt is real’: Lauren Jackson’s Paris Olympics decision comes down to her kids

‘Mum guilt is real’: Lauren Jackson’s Paris Olympics decision comes down to her kids

Lauren Jackson was forced into retirement by knee injuries, came back six years later and suffered another potentially career-ending injury, only to come back and sign off the last WNBL season with another title.

The Australian basketball legend played 30 minutes of the Southside Flyers’ 115-81 win in game three of the grand final series against Perth Lynx, marking Jackson’s sixth WNBL crown.

It was a remarkable effort by the 42-year-old, who very easily could have packed it in last season when she ruptured her Achilles tendon in the first minute of a game against Sydney in front of a record crowd a month before the 2023 playoffs.

The torn right Achilles was a compensation injury from what she thought was arthritis in her left foot.

She had been to the doctor and told him she could not walk after games and was struggling to sleep, asking for painkillers to just get her through the rest of the season.

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“[I was] thinking, ‘If this is arthritis I’m not going to be able to play basketball again,'” she told ABC Sport Daily.

But, as it turned out, scans had missed a broken bone in her left foot that she had been playing on for six weeks.

“It was quite traumatic … I was in so much pain and I didn’t know what it was,” she said.

“When I found out it was broken I had a bit of a meltdown emotionally because I should have trusted myself and had it double-checked and triple-checked.”

Jackson was unsure if she wanted to play again but took extra care over her rehabilitation for the sake of her two sons, Harry and Lennon.

Jackson says her youngest, Lenny, is happy to get among the celebrations with the team.(Getty Images: Daniel Pockett)

“I wanted to be able to play with the kids, get out and run around,” she said.

“Harry, my eldest, loves basketball. I wanted to be able to rebound for him and give myself the best chance to stay fit and healthy.

“I made that commitment to the kids and myself.”

Jackson was still uncertain until training camp, shortly before the 2023/24 season.