sport news Australian Opals basketball star Lauren Jackson's World Cup comeback possible ... trends now
Without medical cannabis, Aussie basketball legend Lauren Jackson wouldn't have been able to make the remarkable comeback that culminated in her World Cup selection.
At 41 years young, Jackson was lured out of international retirement in June ahead of September's World Cup here in Australia.
In an emotional video released yesterday, Jackson was brought to tears when Opals coach Sandy Brondello confirmed she had been picked in Australia's World Cup squad for September's Sydney-based tournament.
And it's all thanks to medical cannabis.
Lauren Jackson has been picked for Australia's World Cup squad, nine years after last playing for the Opals
'Making an official return to the world stage in a sport that I love is just an incredible feeling,' said Jackson.
'I only made my return to the court just in April earlier this year and my treatment plan prior to playing again with medicinal cannabis plays a large part in my recovery from chronic pain.'
Incredibly, Jackson made her international debut 25 years ago, with her last appearance prior to her retirement coming in 2013. She last played in a FIBA World Cup in 2010.
Lauren Jackson (left) playing for Australia against the USA during the 2000 Sydney Olympics
Jackson revealed she had a cry when Brondello told her of her selection, and in the video she put her head in her hands, overcome at the emotion while admitting she 'didn't know what to say'.
'There were a lot of emotions when Sandy rang me, I had a bit of a cry to be honest,' she said.
'I have been working my body hard, and I didn't honestly know if it was going to hold up to my intense training regime, but it has and I'm feeling good.'
Earlier in the year, she admitted it would be 'absolutely stupid' to think she would make the World Cup squad - saying she really just wanted to be 'pain-free again'.
Lauren Jackson was all smiles court-side at a WNBA game between her former team Seattle and Minnesota on August 3
Jackson played 220 games in a long career for the Opals, and she is set to add to that number at the World Cup in September
The Aussie legend had no intentions of playing again competitively after having a partial replacement of her right knee and dealing with an ACL tear that was followed by a staph infection.
But a successful comeback playing NBL1 for her home town of Albury clearly reignited the passion within.
On the back of a rigorous fitness regime, possible with the help of medical cannabis, she was in outstanding form; averaging 32.6 points and 11.6 rebounds.
'I had finished playing basketball with painful ankles and was able to obtain a prescription through my doctor, which saw my ankles feel much better and