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Three-time WNBA champion and two-time NCAA champion Candace Parker is retiring from basketball. The 38-year-old who was signed to the champion Las Vegas Aces announced the end of her storied career on social media.

“I promised I’d never cheat the game & that I’d leave it in a better place than I came into it,” Parker said Sunday on Instagram. “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, 38, said repeated surgeries on her foot led her to the decision. Though she was on the Aces roster, she didn’t play most of the 2023 due to the injury, though she still took home the chip with the team. The Aces will visit the White House on May 9.

“The Las Vegas Aces family is thankful for the role Candace played in the 2023 WNBA championship season,” the team said, adding, “and for giving all of us the opportunity to watch one of the GOATs of the game over the past two decades.”

The Chicago native won her first championship with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2016. They drafted her out of Tennessee with the No. 1 pick in 2008 after she won NCAA titles in 2007 and 2008. Parker won her second WNBA chip in 2021 after joining her hometown team the Chicago Sky. She played in the league for a total of 16 seasons, was a two-time league MVP, a seven-time All-Star, and was named the WNBA Finals MVP in 2016.

Parker will continue her role on the NBA on TNT broadcasts (depending on what happens with the league’s overall media rights deal) and says she’s looking to be as successful in her post-career as she has been in the league.

“In the mean time, know I’M A BUSINESS, man, not a businessman,” she posted. “This is the beginning…I’m attacking business, private equity, ownership (I will own both a NBA & WNBA team), broadcasting, production, boardrooms, beach volleyball, dominoes (sorry babe it’s going to get more real) with the same intensity & focus I did basketball.”

Parker thanked her family and friends for supporting her career. She is married to former Russian basketball player Anna Petrakova. The two share a son, Airr, and are expecting another child. Parker also has a daughter with her ex-husband, former NBA player Shelden Williams.

The celebrated hooper leaves the game in a great place. In 2023, the WNBA enjoyed its highest ratings ever since its first season in 1997. Former University of Iowa star Caitlin Clark, NCAA champion Angel Reese from LSU, and the undefeated run of Dawn Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks, the 2024 NCAA champions, have all brought more eyeballs and bigger numbers to women’s basketball.

Parker concluded her post with a note to her successors – “Today’s players: ENJOY IT. No matter how you prepare for it, you won’t be ready for the gap it leaves in your soul. Forgive me as I mourn a bit, but I’ll be back loving the game differently in a while.”

See how social media is reacting to the retirement news below.

WNBA Champion Candace Parker Announces Retirement After 16 Seasons  was originally published on cassiuslife.com

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