Candace Parker, three-time WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, pronounces her retirement

Candace Parker all the time said she would know when it was time to retire. That day got here on Sunday.

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

“The competitor in me still wants one, but it’s time,” Parker wrote an Instagram post. “My HEART and my body knew it, but I had to give my mind time to accept it.”

Parker, 38, had said The Associated Press in November she desired to play one other season if she could get healthy a foot injury That kept them off the sphere last season. However, she warned against cheating “the game” or herself, and expressed the identical when announcing her retirement before the Aces try and win a 3rd straight title. Parker has had ten surgeries throughout her profession.

“I promised that I would never cheat in the game and that I would leave it in a better place than when I came in. … I always wanted to leave the square without a parade or a tour, just privately with those I love,” she wrote. “What was supposed to be my last game, I left the pitch with my daughter. I ended the journey the same way I started it, with her.”

Parker played her first 13 seasons within the league with the Los Angeles Sparks, establishing her dominance early because the No. 1 pick, winning Rookie of the Year and league MVP in the identical season. Parker was the one WNBA player to realize this feat. He averaged 18.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and three.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 with the Sparks in 2016.

“We are deeply grateful for the remarkable contributions that Candace Parker has made to the Los Angeles Sparks and the sport of basketball as a whole,” Eric Holoman, managing partner and governor of the Los Angeles Sparks, said in a press release. “She will forever be enshrined in Sparks history – from their outstanding MVP and Rookie of the Year seasons to their lead in the 2016 WNBA Championship and the way she revolutionized the game has. Her impact on the community and her ability to inspire will always be felt here in LA. From my many conversations with her about life after basketball, I am confident she will be just as successful in the boardroom.”

She would win a second title with the Chicago Sky in 2021 and a 3rd with the Las Vegas Aces last season. She is the one player in league history to win a championship with three different teams.

“The memories Candace Parker created for a generation of female basketball fans will forever remain embedded in our collective consciousness, but she gave much more to the game than her accolades and statistics,” the Aces said in a press release. “As a teammate and mentor, mother and wife, ballplayer, broadcaster and businesswoman, she has inspired countless young people, boys and girls, to pursue 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 the corporate with one yr of eligibility remaining.

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

“I think Candace has obviously had an amazing career. I'm a little sad about it because you love competing against her, the legend that she is,” said Liberty star Breanna Stewart. “What she did on and off the field was great for our league. I appreciate everything she has done to help me get to where I am. We will definitely miss them this season.”

Liberty coach Sandy Brondello coached Parker overseas in Russia for several years throughout the winter.

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

She had surgery on her foot in July 2023 and told the AP that it still caused her pain late last yr.

“This offseason hasn’t been fun if you don’t cooperate,” she wrote in her post on Sunday. “My life's mission, as Pat Summitt always said, is to 'pursue people and passions and you will never fail.'” Being a wife and mother remains to be a top priority and I've learned that point flies, so I plan to enjoy my family to the fullest!”

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