Following her Commonwealth and World Championship Gold Medals, defencejobs Opals Captain Lauren Jackson has been awarded the Maher Medal as Australia’s Female International Player of the Year for 2006.
Jackson, 25, has now been the recipient of the Maher Medal an unprecedented 5 times in its 19-year history, winning the medal for the first time in 1999 at the tender age of 18.
“I am very excited and honoured to receive this award,” Jackson told Basketball Australia from South Korea.
“The Opals have had such a wonderful year.”
Prior to the Commonwealth Games Gold Medal in March 2006, Jackson also led the Australian women’s team at the Opals World Challenge and was named MVP of the tournament, where Australia defeated the United States for the first time since 1998.
At the 2006 FIBA World Championship for women last September in Brazil, Jackson finished the tournament as the overall top scorer of all nations with a 21.25 points per game average over 8 games.
Jackson also finished as the tournament’s top defensive rebounder with an average 7.25 rebounds per game.
Basketball Australia would like to congratulate Lauren on another fine achievement.
1988 Robyn Maher; 1989 Samantha Thornton; 1990 Robyn Maher; 1991 Robyn Maher; 1992 Sandy Brondello; 1993 Rachael Sporn; 1994 Michele Timms; 1995 Michelle Brogan; 1996 Michele Timms; 1997 Michelle Brogan; 1998 Carla Porter; 1999 Lauren Jackson; 2000 Lauren Jackson; 2001 Suzy Batkovic; 2002 Lauren Jackson; 2003 Trish Fallon; 2004 Lauren Jackson; 2005 Hollie Grima; 2006 Lauren Jackson.
The Maher Medal is named after husband and wife team Tom and Robyn Maher, one of Australia’s greatest sporting families who were involved in 566 games for Australia as either a player or a coach and played an instrumental role in Australia’s rise to world basketball prominence.
The medal recipient is determined by a vote from all Opals team members after each game, with the player receiving the most votes awarded the Maher Medal.
In related news, at the close of the Women’s Korean Basketball League (WKBL) regular season on Monday, Jackson was awarded the WKBL scoring title with a record-breaking average of 30.2 points per game.
The former record was held by Jung Sun-Min of the Shinhan S-Birds who averaged 30.0 points per game in 1998.
Jackson also ranked first in blocks with an average 1.45 per game.
The playoff series (best of three) will start on March 22. The S-Birds (1 seed) will play the Shinsegae Coolcats (4 seed), while Woori Hansae (2 seed) will take on Jackson’s team Samsung Bichumi (3 seed) in pursuit of a WKBL title.