If there were a Mount Rushmore of iconic basketball players in Minnesota's history, Lindsay Whalen would be on it.
The star point guard for the Minnesota Lynx announced Monday that she will retire from the WNBA at the end of the season, putting an end to her magnificent 15-year career, and giving her an opportunity to focus solely on her job as head coach of the University of Minnesota women's basketball team.
“I would like to announce that after 15 seasons in the WNBA I am going to retire after the 2018 season,” Whalen said in a release. “I would like to thank the WNBA, the Connecticut Sun, and the Minnesota Lynx for believing in me all of these years. 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.”
Whalen grew up in Hutchinson and starred there before leading the Gophers to national fame as a Final Four team in 2004. The Connecticut Sun drafted her and traded her to Minnesota in 2010, at which point she helped lead the Lynx to four WNBA titles.
All the while she was a superstar playing overseas and a key player on the U.S. women's national team.
"Lindsay is Minnesota women’s basketball and we congratulate her on an amazing WNBA career and look forward to following her in her next endeavor," said Lynx owner Glen Taylor.
Whalen's career numbers are staggering, and Hall of Fame-worthy. She's the WNBA's all-time wins leader with 322 and counting, not to mention 54 in the playoffs. She's third all time in assists, and a six-time All-Star who has made 13 straight playoff appearances including eight trips to the Finals.
She's the only player in WNBA history with at least 5,000 points, 2,000 assists and 1,500 rebounds.
“At season’s end Lindsay Whalen will retire as the winningest point guard in the history of the WNBA,” Lynx coach/GM Cheryl Reeve said. “I feel so fortunate to have been on the sidelines for so many of her wins. Lindsay’s will to win made her special, along with always putting her team and teammates first. I will always cherish the times we spent together over the last eight years bringing championships to her home state of Minnesota.”
Whalen is in her first season as head coach of the Gophers, having been hired in April.
Whalen will hold a press conference at 1:30 p.m. Monday and it will be televised on Fox Sports North, NBA TV and streamed live right here.