Jackson says she is re-energized

SEATTLE -- Lauren Jackson just can't leave her American home away from home. Nor does she want to.

The two-time WNBA MVP and Australian superstar re-signed Thursday with the Seattle Storm in a multiyear contract, the team announced.

This spring, Jackson will begin her 10th season in the league with the same team that welcomed her to the United States -- and set her on her way to becoming one of the top faces and forces of the WNBA.

The first Seattle player to win two professional league MVP awards says the bond is unique.

"It is a very special connection that I share with the city of Seattle and I am honored to be playing my 10th WNBA season in front of the very fans that welcomed me to the Storm in 2001," Jackson said.

Storm coach Brian Agler said Thursday "there's not a better player in the WNBA than Lauren."

Storm chief executive officer Karen Bryant called Jackson "the cornerstone of the Storm franchise."

With good reason.

Jackson has been named to the WNBA All-Star Team each year the midseason game has been played during her time in the league (2001, '02, '03, '05, '06 and '07). The low-post force was the league's defensive player of the year in 2007. She has been named first-team All-WNBA six times and was named to the league's all-decade team in 2006.

And there's reason to believe the league MVP in 2007 and in '03 -- when the Storm didn't even make the playoffs -- will soar again this summer.

Thanks to a winter spent at home leading the Canberra Capitals to an Australian league title following her release from a contract with Russia's Spartak Moscow, she says she's beyond the myriad injuries that have made her excellence as painful as it's been impressive in recent seasons.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed spending the offseason playing in Australia," the popular captain of that country's national team said. "I feel healthy and re-energized and I'm looking forward to another successful season with Coach Agler and the rest of my teammates."