WNBA

WNBA Star Candace Parker Announces Retirement

Apr 28, 2024, 3:33 PM

Candace-Parker-WNBA-Las-Vegas-Aces...

Candace Parker #3 of the Las Vegas Aces reacts in the second quarter of a game against the Connecticut Sun at Michelob ULTRA Arena on July 01, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Aces defeated the Sun 102-84. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

APCandace Parker always said she’d know when it would be time to retire. That day came Sunday.

Candace Parker Retires

The three-time WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist announced on social media that her career was over after 16 seasons.

“The competitor in me always wants 1 more, but it’s time,” Parker wrote in an Instagram post. “My HEART & body knew, but I needed to give my mind time to accept it.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Candace Parker (@candaceparker)

Parker, 38, had told The Associated Press in November she wanted to play another season if she could get healthy from a foot injury that kept her off the court last season. But she cautioned that she didn’t want to “cheat the game,” or herself, and expressed the same in announcing her retirement ahead of the Aces’ attempt to win a third title in a row. Parker has had 10 surgeries over her career.

“I promised I’d never cheat the game & that I’d leave it in a better place than I came into it. … I always wanted to walk off the court with no parade or tour, just privately with the ones I love,” she wrote. “What now was to be my last game, I walked off the court with my daughter. I ended the journey just as I started it, with her.”

Parker played her first 13 seasons in the league with the Los Angeles Sparks, establishing her dominance early as a No. 1 pick who won Rookie of the Year and league MVP in the same season. Parker was the only WNBA player to accomplish that feat, averaging 18.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists while helping the Sparks to a 10-win improvement in 2008.

Parker earned her second MVP award in 2013 and won her first title in 2016 with the Sparks. She’d go on to win a second title with the Chicago Sky in 2021 and a third with the Las Vegas Aces last season. She’s the only player in league history to win a championship with three different teams.

“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.”

Parker played for the late Pat Summitt’s last two national championship teams at Tennessee in 2007 and 2008. She then left with one year of eligibility remaining.

She won Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012 before shockingly being left off the 2016 team.

“I think obviously Candace has had an amazing career. I’m a little bit sad about it because you love going up against her, the legend that she is,” Liberty star Breanna Stewart said. “What she has done on and off the court has been amazing for our league. Appreciate all she’s done to help me get to where I am. We’ll definitely miss her this season.”

Liberty coach Sandy Brondello coached Parker overseas in Russia for a few years during the winter.

“She’s a trailblazer. Just a wonderful human being and what she’s done for this sport,” Brondello said. ‘Hopefully it’s celebrated. I’ve got a lot of respect for her. Our kids grew up together when I was coaching in Russia. It’s kind of sad. Everyone knows when it’s the right time.”

Parker began working in broadcasting during her playing career. She has worked as an analyst for the NCAA Tournament with CBS Sports and for NBA TV.

She had surgery on her foot in July 2023 and told the AP it still pained her at the end of last year.

“This offseason hasn’t been fun on a foot that isn’t cooperating,” she wrote in her post Sunday. “My mission in life, like Pat Summitt always said, is to ‘chase people and passions and you will never fail.’ Being a wife & mom still remains priority #1 & I’ve learned that time flies, so I plan to enjoy my family to the fullest!”

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

WNBA

Breanna-Stewart-Tokyo-2020-Olympics...

Kyle Ireland

Team USA’s Breanna Stewart Excited To Experience Paris 2024 With Family

WNBA star and Team USA's Breanna Stewart said she's excited to experience the Paris 2024 Summer Games with her family.

1 day ago

alissa-pili-goes-in-for-the-block-against-the-mercury-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Women’s Basketball Has Traveled To See Alissa Pili, Minnesota Lynx

Count Utah women's basketball as another team that takes the "family" motto to heart with several members traveling to watch Alissa Pili.

5 days ago

alissa-pili-competes-with-minnesota-lynx-in-wnba-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

Former Utah Women’s Basketball Star Alissa Pili Becomes Nike N7 Ambassador

Former Utah women's basketball star and current Minnesota Lynx rookie Alissa Pili just signed a deal to be a Nike N7 Ambassador last week.

7 days ago

Caitlin-Clark-Indiana-Fever-WNBA...

Doug Feinberg, AP

Report: Caitlin Clark Left Off USA Basketball National Team Olympic Roster

WNBA star Caitlin Clark won't be headed to the Paris Olympics, according to a person familiar with the decision.

9 days ago

A'ja-Wilson-Las-Vegas-Aces-WNBA...

The Associated Press

Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson Posts Historic Performance In Win Over Dallas Wings

A’ja Wilson had 36 points, 12 rebounds and six steals to help the Las Vegas Aces beat the Dallas Wings 95-81 on Wednesday night.

11 days ago

WNBA-Commissioner-Cathy-Engelbert-NYSE...

Doug Feinberg, AP

WNBA Commissioner Says Charter Flight Program Still Has A Few Kinks But Is Running Smoothly

The WNBA's new charter flight program still has a few expected kinks according to commissioner Cathy Engelbert.

17 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

Hans & Scotty's Day of Adoption...

Hans & Scotty’s Day Of Adoption

Join the KSL Sports Zone for Hans & Scotty's Day of Adoption, in partnership with the Humane Society of Utah, on June 25th, 2024!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

WNBA Star Candace Parker Announces Retirement