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Seattle Storm legend Lauren Jackson named to Basketball Hall of Fame

Lauren Jackson won two WNBA championships with the Seattle Storm. (Getty)

Lauren Jackson, a three-time WNBA MVP and two-time champion with the Seattle Storm, will take her place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this in Springfield, Mass.

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On the morning after the Hall of Fame inducted a 2020 class headlined by Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and the late Kobe Bryant, a 16-person class of 2021 that includes Jackson was announced Sunday.

The Australian-born Jackson was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2001 WNBA Draft, joining the Storm for its second season in the league. The 6-foot-6 center made the first of seven All-Star teams with a strong rookie season, leading the Storm with 15.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.9 steals per game, and Seattle gave her a running mate in the next draft in guard Sue Bird.

That duo led the Storm to their first playoff appearance in 2002, and they brought the WNBA championship home to Seattle in 2004.

Jackson averaged over 20 points per game five times and led the league in scoring three times during her 12 seasons with the Storm, won the league’s MVP award in 2003, 2007 and 2010, and was named WNBA Finals MVP in 2010 after leading Seattle to a second championship. She was also WNBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. Her number 15 is retired by the Storm.

Jackson isn’t the only 2021 inductee with Seattle ties, either. Bill Russell, who is already in the Hall of Fame as a player, will go in as a head coach. Russell coached the Seattle SuperSonics from 1973 to 1977 and is a longtime resident of Mercer Island.

The 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame class also includes Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright, legendary NBA big men Chris Webber, Ben Wallace and Chris Bosh, 10-time NBA All-Star Paul Pierce, ex-coaches Rick Adelman and Cotton Fitzsimmons, and WNBA star Yolanda Griffith.

Toni Kukoc was selected by the Hall of Fame’s international committee, and Pearl Moore – a 4,000-point scorer in college, most of them coming at Francis Marion – was among those selected for induction as well.

Also selected: former WNBA President Val Ackerman as a contributor, longtime director of Five-Star Basketball Camp Howard Garfinkel as a contributor, Clarence “Fats” Jenkins – whose teams in the 1920s and 1930s won what was called the Colored Basketball World Championships in eight consecutive years – and four-time All-Star Bob Dandridge.

The 2021 class will be enshrined on Sept. 11.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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