WNBA legend Candace Parker announces retirement

Three-time WNBA Champion, two-time league MVP and two-time Olympic gold medalist Candace Parker announced on Sunday that she’s retiring after 16 years.

Parker spent most of her career with the Los Angeles Sparks and played most recently with the Las Vegas Aces, where she started the first 18 games of the year. Parker, who suffered an injury to her foot last year, said the “offseason hasn’t been fun on a foot that isn’t cooperating.”

“I promised I’d never cheat the game & that I’d leave it in a better place than I came into it,” Parker said in a social media post. “The competitor in me always wants 1 more, but it’s time. My HEART & body knew, but I needed to give my mind time to accept it.”

Parker was the No. 1 pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft. She went on to become the first player in league history to win a championship with three different teams. She’s also the only player in WNBA history to win both MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season

Parker said she isn’t leaving the world of basketball. She plans to own both an NBA and WNBA team, Parker said in an Instagram post. She’s also looking into private equity, broadcasting, production, beach volleyball and dominoes “with the same intensity & focus I did basketball.”

“No matter how you prepare for it, you won’t be ready for the gap it leaves in your soul,” she said of retiring. “Forgive me as I mourn a bit, but I’ll be back loving the game differently in a while.”

She’s already reached the world of broadcasting, having worked as an analyst and commentator for NBA on TNT since 2019. She also served as an analyst and commentator for NBA TV and NCAA Tournament coverage on CBS Sports.

The WNBA said Parker was “leaving the game better than she found it.” She was also congratulated and thanked by the Aces

“The memories Candace Parker created for a generation of women’s basketball fans will remain ingrained in our collective conscience forever, but she has given so much more to the game beyond her accolades and statistics,” the Aces said in a statement. “As a teammate and mentor, a mother and wife, a baller, broadcaster, and businesswoman she has inspired countless young people, both boys and girls, to chase and achieve their dreams.”

This post was originally published on CBS News

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