WNBA legend and the league’s all-time assists chief Sue Chicken introduced Thursday that she will retire on the finish of the 2022 season.
“I’ve determined this will likely be my last yr,” Chicken, 41, posted on social media. “I’ve liked each single minute, and nonetheless do, so gonna play my final yr, similar to this little girl performed her first.”
The 12-time All-Star and eight-time All-WNBA choice had beforehand mentioned she thought of retiring after the 2021 marketing campaign, however she signed a one-year take care of the Seattle Storm, the place she’s spent her complete 21-year WNBA profession, this offseason. Although she’d indicated this may very well be her final season, she did not publicly decide to something till now.
She joins Sylvia Fowles, the league’s all-time rebounding chief who’s additionally thought of one of many all-time greats, as WNBA luminaries to announce their retirements following the 2022 season.
Chicken’s adorned profession throughout 20 years and in any respect ranges catapults her into the dialog for one of many best basketball gamers and champions of all-time. The previous No. 1 general choose in 2002 gained 4 WNBA titles with the Storm in 2004, 2010, 2018, 2020, making her the one WNBA participant to win titles throughout three many years. She additionally was chosen to every of the WNBA’s milestone groups, together with most lately W25 in 2021.
Chicken added to her storied success on the worldwide stage final yr in Tokyo, when she helped USA Basketball take dwelling its ninth Olympic gold medal and seventh straight. Alongside shut good friend and former UConn teammate Diana Taurasi, the pair grew to become the primary basketball gamers to win 5 Olympic golds.
The Syosset, New York, native starred at Christ the King Excessive Faculty in Queens earlier than opting to play for coach Geno Auriemma at UConn, the place she guided the Huskies to nationwide titles in 2000 and 2002, this system’s second and third championships. She was named nationwide participant of the yr in 2002 whereas a part of arguably the best beginning 5 in ladies’s faculty basketball historical past.
Chicken’s in depth trophy case additionally options 4 FIBA World Championship gold medals with Group USA and 5 EuroLeague titles with Spartak Moscow and UMMC Ekaterinburg.
Chicken, who missed time this WNBA season in COVID-19 protocols and most lately with a non-COVID-19 sickness, is averaging 7.Eight factors on 33.8% capturing (each profession lows) however her 6.6 assists per sport are tied for the second-most in her profession.
Her longevity — which she credit to her work with efficiency coach Susan Borchardt — is unmatched, as her 19 seasons taking part in within the league (she missed 2013 and 2019 because of harm) are greater than another participant. She’s the one WNBA participant to look in no less than 500 video games, beginning in all 559 profession contests.
The 5-9 level guard recorded her 3,000th profession help on July 9, 2021 and boasts 3,114 dimes — 514 greater than another participant — heading into the Storm’s sport Friday in opposition to the Solar, averaging no less than 5 assists per sport in 15 of her 19 seasons and no less than six 5 instances. She is a profession 39.2% shooter from Three with a penchant for hitting big-time pictures when her crew wants it, and likewise is available in second in profession 3s (965), fourth in steals (700) and seventh in scoring (6,639).
Whereas initially being comparatively soft-spoken, Chicken has more and more opened up about her private life, remodeling her right into a tradition icon within the course of. She got here out as homosexual and revealed her relationship with (now fiancée) soccer star Megan Rapinoe, with whom she hosted the ESPYS alongside fellow Seattle Star Russell Wilson in 2020. Off the courtroom, she served as vice chairman of the WNBA gamers’ affiliation and helped negotiate the league and gamers’ landmark collective bargaining settlement in 2020.
Chicken’s announcement coincides with the Storm’s second-to-last common season highway journey in Connecticut, the place she spent her collegiate profession, and their last sport in New York, the place her household is from.
“Because the season has gone, like I mentioned, I just about knew, after which as soon as I noticed the schedule, after which as soon as I began packing for this journey a little bit bit, I used to be like, ‘Oh, that is gonna be my final time taking part in in New York. My final time taking part in in entrance of my household and pals.’ And in order that’s why the timing of that is what it’s,” Chicken mentioned in a video posted by the Storm on social media.
“I simply actually felt strongly about saying my retirement, saying it was my final yr so I can share that with my household and my pals, all of the individuals in New York who’ve watched me rising up to allow them to come and see me play for the final time in my dwelling state. So I am enthusiastic about that. It is also bittersweet.”
The 9-5 Storm, who’ve gained two of the final 4 WNBA titles, are No. four within the WNBA standings as they search to ship Chicken out on high with one final title.
Data from The Related Press was used on this report.