The career of WNBA legend and Seattle Storm forward Tina Thompson will come to an end following the 2013 WNBA season. Thompson announced her impending retirment on Friday.
Thompson, the No. 1 overall pick in the inaugural WNBA draft in 1997, is in her 17th WNBA season. She is the only player to play in all 16 previous WNBA seasons and will conclude her career as the leader in scoring, minutes played and games started in the history of the league.
“Basketball has been a safe haven, a protector, a comfort zone and a provider, as well as one of my life’s joys,” Thompson said. “I am forever grateful for my WNBA journey. I have experienced things I could never have imagined or dreamed of. I started this game at the age of nine; now at 38 my journey is coming to a close. I have an 8-year-old son and I am so thankful that Dyllan has been able to grow up in and share this journey with me. It has truly been a blessing and I am grateful for the experiences, both good and not so good. Those experiences have helped shape me into the woman I am today, the woman I am very proud to be. As I step into this next chapter of my life I will approach it with the same passion. It has been a great ride.”
Thompson started her career with the Houston Comets, helping the team win the league’s first four championships. She has also played for the Los Angeles Sparks and is entering her second season with the Storm.
Thompson also helped the United States women’s Olympic team win gold medals in 2004 and 2008. She was named to the league’s All-Decade team and honored as one of the league’s 15 best players of all-time in 2011.