Whalen Set to Retire at Season’s End

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 13: Lindsay Whalen #13 of the Minnesota Lynx handles the ball against the Las Vegas Aces on July 13, 2018 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Lynx star Lindsay Whalen will retire after the WNBA season, ending her stellar 15-year career.

The gritty point guard announced her plans on Monday. She’s led the Lynx to four WNBA championships and appeared in six All-Star games.

Whalen has been balancing a new job that begins this fall as the head coach at her alma mater Minnesota. The Lynx won WNBA titles in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Whalen was the first player in WNBA history with 5,000 points, 2,000 assists and 1,500 rebounds.

Her legacy in Minnesota has long ago been established, as a native of Hutchinson, leading the Gophers to their only Final Four in 2004.

Whalen started her professional career with the Connecticut Sun before being acquired by the Lynx in 2010. With 322 victories and counting, no player in league history has won more games.

She ranks third on the WNBA’s all-time assists list, trailing only Sue Bird and Ticha Penicheiro.

“Lindsay Whalen will always be remembered as one of the greatest players and winners in the history of our league,” WNBA President Lisa Borders said.

During the league’s 20th anniversary celebration in 2016, Whalen was named one of the top 20 players of all time.

She holds the single-season franchise record for assists (199 in 2011) and the franchise mark for most assists in a single game (14 vs. Los Angeles on Sept. 4, 2013).

The 36-year-old is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist who has appeared in the league finals eight times.

“I would like to thank the WNBA, the Connecticut Sun, and the Minnesota Lynx for believing in me all of these years,” Whalen said in a statement. “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.”

The Lynx scheduled a news conference with Whalen and coach Cheryl Reeve for Monday afternoon at the team’s practice facility.

The Lynx (17-14) have clinched a spot in the playoffs, which begin Aug. 21.