Spartak releases Lauren Jackson, star will suit up for Canberra

18th Commonwealth Games - Day 8: BasketballLauren Jackson is close to signing a deal to play with the Canberra Capitals for the rest of the WNBL season.  Just last week, Capitals coach Carrie Graf and Jackson’s agent indicated that the WNBA star might stay in her native Australia if enough funds were raised by investors to pay her a salary of $220,000 AUD.

Until early November, Jackson had plans to spend the winter playing for Spartak Moscow under a lucrative contract. But when the club’s owner was assassinated on November 2, doubts about her return to Russia began to surface.  She went to Australia to recover from back injuries after the end of the WNBA season.

“She wants to be here—that’s her priority," said Graf Tuesday to ABC Sport. "She wants to stay home and wants to be in Canberra.”

“If we’ve got all the paperwork done tomorrow and can come up with the money, she’ll be a Canberra Capital.”

Graf is also the head coach the Australian national team, the Opals.

Jackson is still recovering from stress fractures in her lower back and will not play until after the weekend.

Her first stint with the Capitals lasted six years.  She joined the team in 1999  led them to four titles and earned MVP honors three times. Currently the team has a 6-4 record and is in fifth place.


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