One-on-one with Lauren Jackson
They’re in the WNBA playoffs with a record 28 wins overall, and no losses at Key Arena this season. So, why don’t more people get excited about the region’s only winning sports team – the Seattle Storm? What do you think?
For an answer, I went one-one-one with Lauren Jackson. On the court? No way. She’s 6 feet 5 inches tall, I’m 5 feet 9 inches, and that’s just the beginning of our athletic differences. This was a one-on-one conversation with the amazing No. 15. She says a lot of credit for the team’s success this season goes to their “awesome, unbelievable” fans.
“There are times in a game when you feel completely flat, or you just made a mistake and all you can hear is the crowd going crazy,” says Jackson. “That’s the sort of support that has helped us go undefeated at Key this year.”
But even a big crowd for a Storm game amounts to around 10,000 people. If any other Seattle team had an undefeated record at home and was in the playoffs, wouldn’t that be huge? Even the Auburn “Green Machine” Little League team has gotten more media attention than the Storm.
Jackson says there are still a lot of people who are “pessimistic” about women’s professional sports. She’s hoping if the team keeps on its winning streak through the playoffs more people over time will become interested in the WNBA.
“The sport is my life and to have the support and the fans that we do is just unbelievable,” Jackson says. “I’m not too stressed. I think in Seattle we’ve got a great ownership group. We’ve got great support and a great fan base, so it’s cool.”
Jackson is getting a degree in gender studies, and eventually she will work on equality and humanity issues off the court. For now, the 29-year-old Aussie athlete is focused on the playoff games and hopes to play professional basketball for about five more years.
“It’s all I’ve ever done, all I ever knew how to do,” she says.
Aaron Last/Seattle Storm photos