WNBL is coming to ESPN for the 2022-23 season

The WNBL is coming to ESPN for the 2022-23 season.

A game of the week will be featured live every Wednesday night, marking the first time the league has been aired on ESPN. In addition, WNBL finals will also be broadcast in full.

It marks the biggest broadcast deal to date for the competition, with ESPN and 9Now in partnership with the league for the next two years.

The momentum for women's hoops has never been greater according to five-time WNBL champion Lauren Jackson, who has recently signed with the Southside Flyers in addition to suiting up with the Australian Opals at this month's FIBA Women's World Cup in Sydney.

"I think the league has been growing in the last few years, there's been some incredible things that have been initiated but this broadcast deal in particular, it brings all of Australian basketball to one place, to one home," Jackson told ESPN.

"We've worked really, really hard to get it back to a point where the visibility and accessibility of the athletes is there. In terms of talent, we've never been lacking, there's always been great athletes, we've had a great competition, but I think it's in the best position it's ever been in because of the visibility."

A four-time WNBL MVP, the chase for Jackson's signature included multiple clubs, with the Flyers ultimately inking the legendary figure to a deal after months of contemplation.

"(Flyers head coach) Cheryl Chambers had been reaching out to me since May, letting me know they would like to have a conversation when I was ready," Jackson recalled.

"I said to Cheryl it would have to be 100 percent perfect for my kids and for me, there's no way I can commit to any club unless it was going to work with my job and my kids. It went on for months and then Cheryl saw me in camp with the Opals and then I think it became a possibility."

The comeback has morphed from a mere curiosity to reality in seemingly quick fashion, with a return for the Albury Wodonga Bandits leading to an unthinkable on court return for the Opals and a WNBL commitment.

"Every day it blows my mind," Jackson said. "I've been away for four days travelling with work away from the kids and Mum and Dad and I just sat down and thought to myself that I'm about to go to an Opals camp to get ready for the World Cup. It's blown my mind. A year ago, I would have laughed at you.

"I remember last season watching the WNBL and admiring the standard and figured even if I wanted to, I couldn't play with them. Now I've signed, it's daunting and scary but at the same time it's probably the coolest thing I've ever done in my life.

"To see this resurgence in women's basketball on and off the court it's a dream come true, but it has rocked me, I can't believe I'm here."

With two young kids and a prominent role at Basketball Australia, the idea of adding a domestic season to her schedule hardly appeared feasible, though she has praised the Flyers and Basketball Australia for their support en route to making the commitment.

"Work is at the State Basketball Centre where the Flyers play home games, they said they will help support with my kids as much as they could, and it became a no brainer," Jackson said. "Even up to the last minute when I signed, I said to Mum and Dad that I wasn't sure if I could do this.

"It's been a real challenge trying to navigate family, work and everything. I put in so much work to get to this point, not with the intention of playing in the World Cup but just to get on court and have fun."

While Jackson is quick to associate the word fun with her return, don't be foolish enough to assume the on-court persona has mellowed with time.

"The competitiveness in me has never gone away. Whatever I've done, whatever I'm trying to do, that competitive nature that I have is always there. The difference is my perspective outside of the game," she said.

"Put me on a court, I'll play, I'll go hard, I want to win at all costs. The minute the games over I have two little babies running up to me. It's my family and kids, it's not just me anymore so to have the opportunity and the support from Southside Flyers and Basketball Australia, I'm just so thankful and honoured."

At this point, it would be silly to put a cap on what's to come from what is already the Australian sports story of the year, but rest assure, Jackson won't leave a single stone unturned.

"To get here is a dream come true and to play in this WNBL season is something that I never could have imagined," she said.

"I'm going to go with it as long as I can, I don't anticipate my body is going to hold up that much longer but I'm going to give it everything I have while I can."

The FIBA Women's World Cup tips off on September 22 - catch every Opals game LIVE from Sydney on ESPN.