With AP Photos.Minnesota Lynx star Lindsay Whalen will retire from the WNBA at the end of the season. The Lynx won WNBA titles in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. She'll move on to focus on her duties as head coach of the women's basketball program at Minnesota, which announced her hiring in April.
"At season's end Lindsay Whalen will retire as the winningest point guard in the history of the WNBA", said Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve. She's off to coach her alma mater, the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The 36-year-old Whalen is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who led the Gophers to their only Final Four in 2004. "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".
While Whalen's talent and on-court toughness made her a WNBA All-Star, there are also intangibles that contributed to her success. She ranks as the franchise leader in assists, while ranking second in games played and fourth in scoring. After coming off the bench in her WNBA debut, Whalen began a streak of 475 straight starts; a streak that just ended during Minnesota's loss to Seattle on Sunday as Whalen came off the bench for the first time as a Lynx on the eve of her retirement announcement.
Whalen will play in her final WNBA playoffs this season, as the Lynx have already clinched their spot with a 17-14 record. For her career, she has averaged 11.5 points, 4.9 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game to go with a 46.1 field goal percentage. In the playoffs, Whalen has an additional 335 assists. Since joining the Lynx, she's helped the teamwin 71.4 percent of its games, according to the release.
The Lynx (17-14) have clinched a spot in the playoffs, which begin August 21, but they'll have to win at least one single-elimination game and face a tough road to defend their championship.