August 13, 2018 02:35 PM
Minnesota Lynx star Lindsay Whalen announced Monday she will retire from the WNBA at the conclusion of this season.
Whalen, a former Hutchinson High School and Minnesota Gophers standout, was named head women's basketball coach at the University of Minnesota earlier this year.
"I would like to announce that after 15 seasons in the WNBA I am going to retire after the 2018 season," Whalen said in a release from the team.
"I would like to thank the WNBA, the Connecticut Sun and the Minnesota Lynx for believing in me all of these years. I look forward to the next chapter in my basketball career and wish my Lynx coaches and teammates all of the best in the future."
Whalen led the Gophers to a berth in the NCAA women's final four as a senior in 2004, and also won two Olympic gold medals as part of Team USA in 2012 and 2016. As a member of the Lynx, she helped lead the team to four WNBA titles.
She has been part of 322 career victories in the WNBA, including 54 in the postseason. She ranks as the franchise leader in assists, while ranking second in games played and fourth in scoring.
Whalen has made six WNBA All-Star appearances and eight appearances in the WNBA finals with both the Lynx and the Connecticut Sun, the team for which she played from 2004-09.
"To be able to come back here and play in my home state for this part of my career has been beyond anything anyone could have imagined when (the Lynx) pulled the trigger back in 2010," Whalen said at a press conference Monday afternoon.
Her head coach echoed that sentiment.
"I've been so lucky to be part of such a special career," Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve said Monday.
Whalen - who said she thought this could be her last season even before taking the head coaching job with the Gophers - thanked her family for their support over the years, and said it was amazing to look back on all the places basketball has taken her.
"When you're in 10th grade sitting there after a basketball game talking about the wouldas, couldas, shouldas of the game, you never think it's going to turn into this," she said. "But if you work hard enough it really can."
Updated: August 13, 2018 02:35 PM
Created: August 13, 2018 09:33 AM
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