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Rookie status is something not attributed to Lauren Jackson since before the turn of the century, but if she seemed fearless as a 16-year-old on her first tour to Brazil with the Opals, her debut into motherhood has been much more daunting. Discount Nike Shoes For Sale .Its been scary, actually, I havent been through anything as scary as this, Jackson tells ESPN.As any prospective parent knows, pregnancy is a whole new ball game.Jackson has made no secret of her desire for a family, and a miscarriage in 2013 no doubt played on her mind when there were hiccups early in this pregnancy. However, at 19 weeks along, all is now progressing well and Australias most successful female basketballer is eagerly anticipating welcoming her son into the world in February.As is the modern way, the world at large discovered the news on Twitter, but, fittingly, only after Jackson had made sure the important people in her life could celebrate the momentous news with her first.Im getting more comfortable talking about it now, she tells ESPN. Im getting rounder and starting my role with the [Melbourne] Boomers. There was going to be speculation, so family and friends had to know first. They supported me through my career and since my retirement. Ive been surrounded by the people I love. I wanted to tell them first.The exit of Lauren Jackson from the basketball court was a poignant moment for fans of the game, and, despite the long injury layoffs having given her time to prepare for the seemingly inevitable announcement, there was still a period of adjustment for the linchpin of the womens national team.I had thought a lot about it but when the time came it was still sad and a shock; for a time I felt empty, she says.Right after retirement I had a half-knee replacement and it took time to get to a point where I could walk, though thankfully its less painful now.After putting her body back together, Jackson focused on the future, as a board member and commercial operations executive at Melbourne Boomers.The timing was perfect.The opportunity came along early, within a month of me announcing my retirement. The Boomers were going through a transition phase with a new ownership group and building something special, which they asked me to be a part of.It seems the perfect fit.I said Id love to. After the career Ive had, I feel I have something to offer and give back to the game.Her main role as commercial operations manager is to engage with sponsors. When asked about a mentoring gig, Jackson takes it as read.Im starting to do some team admin roles, but mentoring? Not specifically, the girls know they can come to me; thats a given -- being on hand for the team.Empathy for those still pounding the boards is evident, as Jackson recalls her commentary role for the Opals disappointing campaign at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.I think everyone was in shock. I can imagine the girls were devastated. The Opals have a tradition of success and there is an expectation that we will medal at the Olympics.Calling the games from home due to concerns over the Zika virus (for now obvious reasons), Jackson knew the ramifications of this team failing to meet public expectation.That [the Olympics] is one platform where the sport is on the front page and where people get behind it. For me as spectator and as a fan, that was one of the hardest things; this is the moment when the whole country is watching. I felt terrible for them -- they put their heart and soul into it -- but they will regroup and move forward.As a veteran of four Olympic Games, where did she feel it went wrong?Defensively there was a lack of structure. The pick-and-roll defence killed the girls in the end, and they were outplayed.Realistically, they didnt play too well across the tournament; in too many games, they were coming from behind. You cant play a whole tournament that way and be successful; the problems need to be figured out early and fixed, and they werent. Its no ones fault. You could see they gave it their all, and it was heartbreaking.Despite the disappointing outcome as a team, Jackson had high praise for Liz Cambage.Liz was unbelievable. If they were successful she would have been named best player in the world. How she played should be making people sit up and take notice.Unfortunately, Cambage is one of the stars who wont be on court for the Australian Womens National Basketball League this season. For a number of her Opals teammates, the lure of overseas contracts proved too great -- something Jackson is pragmatic about.Its a fact of life in basketball here, she tells ESPN.We arent even on television, which is a huge blow. We are a bit of a pathway, preparing players to dominate overseas. They will come back and play; people are starting to acknowledge womens sport here and attendance figures grew last season even without television coverage. If we can continue that, corporate support and exposure will follow.In the meantime, Jackson is looking forward to the coming WNBL season, particularly the performance of great friend Suzy Batkovic.I want to see her be successful. She missed out on national team selection; my personal opinion is that she should have been there, but now shell have that chip on her shoulder, and that will make her tougher than ever to take on. Im just glad I dont have to play against her.Away from her new courtside position, Jackson will be busy enough -- particularly when her son arrives. While she refused to be drawn on prospective names, his first supporters colours are likely to be purple and gold, despite her years in the capital.Canberra holds a very special place in my heart, but I signed a contract with the Boomers for two years, so Ill still be working with them. They have been so supportive, especially when I was new to the job and had to tell them I would need maternity leave. I will always cherish the way they handled that.For now, Lauren Jacksons focus is turning inward, and rightfully so. While the basketball world is eagerly awaiting the birth of a new Boomer, the rookie mum is enjoying the moment.I can feel him moving now, 10 fingers, toes, all of that. A healthy baby is all I want. Cheap Discount Nike Shoes .Y. - Nelson Mandela will be honoured by the New York Yankees with a plaque in Monument Park. Cheap Nike Shoes From China . The Clippers were angry about blowing a big lead; the Kings didnt like being in that kind of hole and nearly digging themselves out only to lose. . The Islanders dealt Thomas Vanek to the Montreal Canadiens after less than a year on Long Island. Meanwhile, the Oilers dealt long-time sniper Ales hemsky to the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday for a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a third-rounder in 2015. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Theres already a lot of talk about the Oct. 23 restrictor plate race at Talladega Superspeedway and how it could shake up NASCARs Chase for the Sprint Cup.?But first, theres the small matter of actually locking into the 16-driver field for the Chase. And even though NASCARs 10-race elimination style playoff doesnt start until September, Saturday nights Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway may ultimately have an impact on the Chase grid.?With frequent multi-car crashes, the plate races often produce big swings in the point standings. Daytona was no exception; several drivers who were already in a precarious position in terms of the Chase got swept into a 22-car big one on Lap 90 of 160.?Jamie McMurray triggered the massive pile-up, and he also took one of the biggest hits in terms of the Chase. McMurray entered the Daytona weekend on the bubble among drivers who havent scored a race win in 2016, and the 34th-place finish Saturday knocked him out of the top 16 if the Chase started today.?Conversely, Tony Stewart solidified his position in the Chase despite crashing with 11 laps remaining to be classified 26th. That still put Stewart nine places ahead of Brian Scott and helped him move ahead of Scott into 30th place in the point standings, which is a requirement for him to be Chase eligible, making him one of the evenings big winners.?Because the Chase field is determined first by race winners, one spectacular Saturday night or Sunday afternoon could land a surprise driver in the field. With Stewart making it into the top 30, there are now 11 race winners this year all in the top 30, currently leaving five positions open through points.? ?Tony winning last week takes up another spot, so it makes us have to work a little bit harder, said Kyle Larson, who helped his cause with a sixth-place finish in his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Its going to be tough making the Chase if we dont get a win, so Im happy about the points we earned tonight.?Heres a look at how several drivers vying for a place in the Chase fared at Daytona:?Winner: Austin Dillon -- What a difference a year makes for the driver of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Dillon ended the rain-delayed 2015 Coke Zero 400 with a mangled race car after being launched into the fence on the final lap in an incident that left five spectators injured. This year, despite being among the 22 drivers involved in the big wreck on Lap 90 of 160, Dillon brought his car home in one piece in seventh place. After being two points to the good for a Chase place before the race, Dillon now has a 25-point cushion.?It was a solid night for us, Dillon said. Made a lot of ground from 18th to seventh and wish we could have got a bit more, but Im proud of our day. These are wild and crazy races, and its a lot better to come home seventh on all four wheels than upside down.?Winner: Ryan Blaney -- Rookie Blaney came into Daytona two spots out of making the Chase by points, and he left as the last driver in. As Team Penske showed with Brad Keselowski winning and Joey Logano finishing fourth, the Fords were fast, and Blaney spent time at the front of the field before being delayed in a pit incident. He worked his way back into the top 10 but got swept into Stewarts wreck, ending the day 14th for a net gain of 16 points on the day.? ?It was a long night for sure, Blaney said. We were still fast affter the thing in the pits -- got up to sixth, I think, and we were in a good spot until [Stewart] wrecked, got turned in front of us and it hurt the right-front pretty bad. Cheap Nike Shoes China Free Shipping. Weve got nine more races [before the Chase]. I just want to run the best we can and well see how the points shake out.?Winner: Trevor Bayne -- The 2011 Daytona 500 winner made the biggest points gain of the night, a net of plus-27 after a third-place finish in the Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Bayne gained two places in the standings and is now seventh among drivers hunting the five remaining Chase berths, 10 points behind bubble man Blaney.?Overall a really solid points day for us, Bayne said. Its not a win that we need to get in the Chase, but its a great step in the right direction for making it in on points.?Winner: Kyle Larson -- Larson dodged a bullet when his Ganassi teammate McMurray bounced his Chevrolet off the No. 42 Target car. Larson held on and brought the damaged car home in sixth place, putting him 19 points behind Blaney after a net gain of 14 points on a Chase berth.?A really good night, Larson said. A lot of guys around us in the points had bad nights so we made up some points on them, which is good. We just have to keep digging. We have something like eight races left until the Chase (actually nine), so thats a lot of time as long as we dont have any DNFs. There are some good tracks coming up for me and for our team, so hopefully we can go there and execute.?Non-winner: Jamie McMurray -- The former Daytona 500 winner didnt have any luck Saturday. A bump with his teammate Larson appeared to cut a rear tire, sending McMurrays Ganassi Chevrolet into the spin that collected more than half the field. The No. 1 car got out for a few more laps to gain a couple of extra points over those that sustained terminal damage, but a 34th-place finish was severely damaging to his Chase hopes. After arriving on the bubble, McMurray is now four points behind Blaney for the 16th spot.?It seemed like a tire maybe went down and it actually felt like I hit oil, McMurray said. Its unfortunate but its just part of plate racing.?Non-winner: Kasey Kahne -- With his position at Hendrick Motorsports being publicly questioned despite holding a contract with the team, Kahne didnt need a bad result at Daytona. But he got one, finishing 30th despite a mammoth effort from his crew to get the No. 5 Chevrolet back on track some 40 laps down. Kahne was one spot out of making the Chase before Saturday nights setback, and although he dropped another two places at Daytona, he remains just 13 points behind Blaney, the same deficit he faced coming in.?Non-winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- The master of restrictor-plate racing never looked comfortable this time at Daytona, qualifying his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 16th and rarely troubling the top 10. Dale Jr. bulldozed through the 22-car melee but sustained enough damage to keep him at the tail of the field for the rest of the night. His 16th-place finish dropped him to third among winless drivers, but he still managed to make a net gain of nine points on the Chase bubble. Hes now 24 points to the good.?I just rode around, he said. I couldnt get in there and get two and three-wide because the car needed a couple lanes to run well. ' ' '