Mailbag: Was Lauren Jackson at the game?

posted by Jayda Evans: Womens Hoops Blog
Friday, July 22, 2011 at 6:17pm EDT

Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"

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SeattleStorm.pngThree-time MVP Lauren Jackson's whereabouts are the most frequently asked questions on Twitter and via email, especially from fans in, wait for it, Brazil.


Anyway, #stormcrazies, Jackson attends every home game. She's normally the first player introduced, out until at least August after undergoing left hip surgery on June 30. Jackson tore her labrum against Tulsa on June 21.

Before you can even ask, Jackson will attend the All-Star game in San Antonio on Saturday, too. But it's her first road trip since undergoing the surgery in Colorado and likely the only one she'll make until returning to the Storm lineup.

Jackson, a 6-foot-6 center, is expected to be named one of the WNBA's top-15 players in celebrating the 15 years of the league's existence. She was named to the all-Decade team five years ago. The top-15 will be named during halftime of the game that airs at 12:30 PT on ABC.

A native Australian, Jackson completed morning rehabilitation before departing Friday afternoon. She said the monotony of twice daily rehab is starting to get to her, picking up odd books to read in addition to work toward her college degree. In fact, I interrupted her reading to catchup prior to Seattle's win against San Antonio on Thursday.

"I'm good," she said. "Obviously for me I want to get back out there as soon as possible, but in saying that, they're monitoring everything really closely. All signs are very positive for a early return."

Jackson, who ranks fourth all-time in WNBA points scored, can run in a pool, which she said is a bit ahead of schedule. She also feels better when walking around rather than sitting for long periods, supposedly another good indicator.

The Storm is 5-5 without Jackson in the lineup this season, imploding on its own with turnovers at critical times and poor offense. Depth inside has also been an issue, Storm coach Brian Agler cutting rookie Krystal Thomas on Thursday before contracts became guaranteed.

He's expected to announce a replacement to bring the roster back to 11.

In San Antonio, Jackson will be reunited with majority of her Aussie buddies playing in the WNBA. The surprise is C Liz Cambage, the No. 2 overall draft pick to Tulsa. She's an injury replacement for Los Angeles C Candace Parker, getting the nod over mainstays like Minnesota C Taj McWilliams-Franklin or past All-Stars in F Candice Dupree (Phoenix) and F Sophia Young (San Antonio).

"It's nice to have a player from different teams on the roster," said Agler, who'll coach three of the four rookies making All-Star appearances. "That being said, there are some really good players left off the roster, too. Liz has a chance to be an exceptional player in this league...Coaches had a vote on the reserves besides Liz (and) it's good from the standpoint that we're highlighting some new people, new faces. But we've left some people behind, too."

Jackson hadn't been in touch with Cambage since she was named Wednesday, knowing she was probably thrilled. Jackson was second to Parker in fan voting, not getting the nod due to injury.

"It's going to be a great opportunity for her," said Jackson of the rookie. "I look forward to seeing her play. She'll be smiling and stuff."

Cambage, who's 6-8, already contemplated ways to fill Parker's void in entertaining fashion via Twitter.

Thanks guys, means a lot, cant wait to have some fun this weekend! How am I going to fill @Candace_Parker shoes though? Maybe with a dunk??less than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet ReplyElizabeth Cambageecambage

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