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Originally published Monday, January 17, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Storm

Jackson to pose in Sports Illustrated

Lauren Jackson is posing again. Sorry, this time she'll have clothes on. The 6-foot-5 Storm forward will be featured in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition set to hit newsstands in mid-February.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Lauren Jackson is posing again.

Sorry, this time she'll have clothes on.

The 6-foot-5 Storm forward will be featured in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition set to hit newsstands in mid-February. Jackson, a native of Australia, will be wearing designer Jodhi Packer's Tigerlily suit. Packer is a Sydney-based fashionista known for her beachcomber style.

Team sources acknowledged previous knowledge of the shoot, but would not comment. Jackson, the league's leading scorer last season (20.5), was unavailable for comment.

Jackson's last magazine spread caused a furor when she posed naked, except for her down under, in an artistic photo essay for Black + White. The hardcover special edition of the Australian publication was titled "The Athens Dream" and featured 35 male and female Australian Olympians. Later, the cover photos of a topless Jackson and torso-barring swimmer Michael Klim were auctioned off for charity.

Jackson, 23, is rehabilitating from ankle surgery at home in Albury, Australia. She's expected to return to help defend the Storm's first championship, but is listed on the league's restricted-free-agent list. She will most likely sign a one-year deal with the Storm for the league maximum of about $90,480.

Teammates Adia Barnes, Sheri Sam and Tully Bevilaqua are unrestricted free agents. They have the option of signing with any team in the WNBA. And the Storm could lose one, if not all three, because of their high veteran salaries and the league's $673,000 salary cap. Teams are in negotiations with their players and contracts can be signed Feb. 1.

Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or jevans@seattletimes.com

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