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Jackson selected to WNBA All-Decade team

14 June 2006

Australian basketball superstar Lauren Jackson was the only non-American selected for the WNBA's All-Decade team.

Jackson, who has played for the Seattle Storm since 2001, was the league's MVP in 2003, the first international player and youngest ever to receive the honour.

"I'm both honoured and excited to be named to the WNBA All-Decade Team," Jackson said.

"It also means a lot to share this special honour with Sue (Bird her teammate at Seattle).

"She's not only a great teammate, she's a great friend."

Sheryl Swoopes, Cynthia Cooper and Tina Thompson, teammates on the Houston Comets who won the first four WNBA championships, were selected.

Lisa Leslie, who led the Los Angeles Sparks to the next two championships, in 2001 and 2002, also made the list, along with Bird, who won the title in 2004.

The 10-player team also includes Tamika Catchings of Indiana, Yolanda Griffith of defending champion Sacramento, Detroit's Katie Smith and Houston's Dawn Staley, who will retire after this season. Cooper retired in 2003.

Leslie, Swoopes and Thompson are founding players still on their original teams. All 10 have earned Olympic medals.

Jackson has a silver with Australia and the rest won gold for the United States.

The players were selected from a group of 30 nominees in balloting by a panel of fans, media, current players and coaches.

League officials said consideration was given to on-court performance and ability, leadership, sportsmanship and community service.

"The group consists of not only tremendous athletes who have reached extraordinary heights on the court, but of terrific women who give unselfishly of their time and effort in the community," WNBA president Donna Orender said.

Five other players earning honourable mention were Ruthie Bolton and Teresa Weatherspoon, who retired in 2004, and current players Chamique Holdsclaw (Los Angeles), Portugal's Ticha Penicheiro (Sacramento) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix).

The All-Decade team will be honoured formally during the WNBA All-Star game on July 12 at Madison Square Garden.

AP

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