Lauren Jackson
Page 2 Staff

New South Wales, Australia
Lauren Jackson hails from Albury in New South Wales, Australia.
When Page 2 heard Lauren Jackson would be in Bristol, we scrambled to find someone who spoke fluent Australian. The closest we came was a janitor who owns a Naomi Watts poster and keeps AC/DC in his Discman. That almost cut it, until we remembered that Page 2's Mary Buckheit lost her college roommate to Australia.

That's right, her best pal decided to study abroad in Sydney for a semester. She packed up and shipped out . . . and never came back. The last Mary heard from her she had married a random Australian guy -- her gay friend Simon -- and gained some sort of citizenship over there.

So we decided to send Mary to talk to the Aussie, ask her a few questions -- 10 Burning Questions, to be exact -- and find out the scoop on the enigmatic Land Down Under.

Lauren Jackson
Mary didn't find her roommate, but she did talk to the Seattle Storm center with a beaut' of an accent. The All-Star sheila lit up the WNBA this year, leading the league in points, points per game, field goals and efficiency. Lauren is also one of the favorites to be named the 2003 MVP.

Crikey! With a résumé like that, you knew Ms. Jackson would not be taking any codswallop from anyone. But Mary refused to be thrown on the barbie -- not this time. The little bugger held her own. Here's how the conversation went, mates . . .

1. First of all, is "Foster's" really Australian for beer?

Lauren Jackson: Only in America.

Victoria Bitter
Foster's-Shmosters, Lauren prefers the full-bodied VB.
Do you Aussies even drink it?

Sometimes. Some people do. Not me, I drink VB -- Victoria Bitter.

2. Can you explain Australian Rules football to me?

Uhhh, the whole game?

Yeah, you know, just give me a quick run-down.

Umm. Well . . . Okay, basically, they kick and catch . . . and kick and catch . . . and kick and catch, and finally the ball goes through the goal posts. That's really all you need to know.

3. Do you like Vegemite or is that just a big joke?

Noo. We Australians REALLY like it. I love it. It's a comfort food -- or a comfort spread I should say -- and we all stick by it. So don't go knockin' it!

Okay, but I've heard people compare it to motor oil, anchovies and salty tar.

Well, it is a little salty, but it's a wonderful spread. It goes with anything, actually. I eat it all alone.

Aussies insist, don't knock it 'till you try it.
By the spoonful?!

I'm telling you, it's wonderful. Try it.

Maybe. Do they serve that stuff at Outback Steakhouse?

I don't know. I've never heard of it.

You've never heard of Outback Steakhouse?

No. I'm Australian. I don't know.

Well, it's this restaurant with steaks and stuff where the waiters dress all Australian and they've got a Kiwi spokesman guy with an accent and . . .

I know what the Outback is. I'm just teasing you. There's one in Seattle. The girls are always talking about it, but I've never been. They don't really have these in Australia, you know. I've never seen one, anyway. I went to one in Japan once. It was nice. The food was lovely, but it's not my favorite restaurant. I've never even been to one in the States. They aren't really Australian. I'd rather go to the Australian pub, something genuine.

Alright then. We'll just throw that myth on the barbie.

4. I know you have some tattoos, what are they? Kangaroos or something?

Outback logo
Sorry mate, LJ says Outback is a poser.
I do have three tattoos -- they are very personal -- BUT I will tell you that they are NOT kangaroos. I don't have any kangaroo stories for you. They are rough animals.

I hear koalas can be vicious at times.


So what's the best thing about Australia that
America doesn't have?

My favorite pub. I miss it. Back home, it's the real deal. Sort of like the authentic Outback, I guess. It's wonderful. Australia is amazing. It's everything. It's just a beautiful country with lovely people -- and great shopping.

I hear you enjoy the surfing over there, too.

Oh yes! The surfing. It's lovely.

If you could get paid the same amount for playing basketball or for surfing, which would you choose?

Lauren Jackson
Lauren sunk her 1,000 career point at 22 years, 27 days old -- the youngest in WNBA history.
Basketball. It's not even a job really. It's more of a . . . a love. It's like my partner. It's my favorite and it's my best.

5. What would winning the MVP Award mean to you?

It would mean a lot to me. But if I don't win it, I won't be too upset. If one of the other girls wins . . . I mean, I probably will be a little upset. Aww, you know what I mean. I'm not going to hurt myself or anything.


6. What's the best part about being a professional athlete?

First and foremost, it's the people you meet. Then the basketball. Playing basketball night in and night out -- and loving it. I love it. Not everybody has the opportunity to do this. I love it. I'm just in such a lucky situation. A lot of the girls on my team are my closest friends, and my coaches are awesome. I'm just in a very easy position to be happy.

Lauren Jackson
Many WNBAers could work the hardcourt or the catwalk.
The worst part is definitely not being able to see my family as much as I would like to, and having to be away from my country. But I make the most of it, I guess. It's a great opportunity.

What's the best part about being 6-foot-5?

The best is certainly the basketball advantage. But it's constantly a struggle to find clothes that fit.

Speaking of clothes that fit, how bout those Australian national team catsuits?!

Oh, man. They are trying to get away from those, actually. I did not like those things.

C'mon, those would sell tickets!

Yeah. If the WNBA was really trying to sex up the sport, they would put us in those body suits.

Should female ballers show off their sexy side?

Well, female athletes really are beautiful. There are a lot of times when we are going out -- tall, fit women -- we get dressed up and we look beautiful and we're mistaken for models. We've got great bodies and we're female -- that's sexy. That's not using sex to sell the sport, that's natural. Naturally gorgeous.

Just like the men, on the court we're athletes. But off of it, we're sexy people with nice bodies and personalities of our own. If you've got it, flaunt it. You can't just put us in a little box because we're athletes.

Lauren Jackson
Yes folks, that's a one-piece.
7. Can you explain what happened in the incident with Lisa Leslie's hair during the Olympics?

Yeah! Oh, my. Okay, I went up for a rebound and my fingers got caught in her weave -- but it's not like I saw what my hand was caught on. I didn't know what it was. If I saw it, I would have just been like, "Oh, my finger is stuck in her hair."

Anyway, I kinda freaked out and quickly moved my hand to get it out of there, and her hair came with it. I screamed and threw her hair on the floor and then realized that it was, of course, only a hair extension. I guess it wasn't in tight enough, or whatever. She just picked it up and threw it into the media. We were laughing about it.

8. How would you describe your teammate/Page 2 legend Sue Bird?

Sue is just an awesome person. Really genuine, really down to earth. She is a very cool girl who I am glad to know. She is also the best dancer on the team, without a doubt. She has a lot of fun.

Who gets the Mark Madsen awkward dancing award on your team?


All 6-5 of you, eh?

You said it.

What are your thoughts on the Sue Bird/Seattle radio show "spanking bet?"

Lauren and Sue
Palling around with teammate, Sue Bird, Lauren is the envy of our office.
I think it was blown way out of proportion. It seemed like it happened ages ago, and then all of a sudden this little thing surfaced and was over-analyzed and blown up to something bigger than it was ever intended to be. But that's what happens with stuff like this, I guess. It was really no big deal at all. Poor thing, I just really feel for her. It would be horrible to be in that position when you just say something stupid, and your intentions are misunderstood and it became sexualized and blown up.

It seemed like a pretty harmless comment.

Harmless! Yes, that's the word for it, mate. It was harmless and stupid and it became a big deal for no reason. That's not what Sue is about. I think the person responsible apologized to her, eventually. Poor Sue, she didn't mean for any of that to happen.

9. Who's your favorite actress?

Nicole Kidman.

An Aussie, how shocking. Let me guess, your favorite actor is Russell Crowe.

No! I don't just pick them for that reason. I've got a lot of favorite actors. They are all so cute. Umm . . . My favorite, though, is . . . Mel Gibson.

Oh, c'mon, he grew up in Oz!

Yeah, I know. I'm Australian, what do you want?

What's in your CD player right now? The Vines? Savage Garden? INXS? The Bee Gees?

Sarah McLachlan.

You better run . . . you better take cover.
Ooh, a Canuck. You're branching out. What's your favorite Australian band?

The Whitlams.

10. Last question. Can you explain
the mysterious popularity of "Men at Work"?

(Singing) . . . "I come from a land down under . . . "

Ha-ha!! That's it! One song, that's all there is to it.

ALSO SEE:'s 2003 WNBA Finals coverage

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10 Burning Questions with Summer Sanders

10 Burning Questions with Chris Rock

10 Burning Questions with Colin Quinn

10 Burning Questions with Jennie Finch

10 Burning Questions with NFL Draft prospects

10 Burning Questions with Terrell Owens

Ten Burning Questions with Drew Carey

Ten Burning Questions with Curtis Conway

Ten Burning Questions with Sue Bird

Ten Burning Questions with Spike Lee

10 Burning Questions with Hideki Matsui

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