Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen has decided to retire from USA Basketball. Her decision was announced by the USA women’s team in a release Friday.
Whalen explained her decision in that release.
“I’ve cherished all of my time with USA Basketball since I was 20,’’ said Whalen, who first donned a USA basketball jersey in 2002, when she was still at the University of Minnesota. She has claimed six gold medals with the national team, including Olympic gold in 2012 and 2016 and World Cup gold in 2010 and 2014. USA teams she played with compiled a 66-3 overall record, including exhibition play.
The announcement came in a release listing players who would be attending the women’s national team training camp in South Carolina Feb. 9-11. That list includes Lynx star Maya Moore, who will return, briefly, from her team in Russia to participate. Wolves center Sylvia Fowles, who is playing in China will not be there, nor will Lynx guard Seimone Augustus.
And, it turns out, Whalen.
“This was a very tough decision, but I feel like it’s time in my career to step aside and give another young player the opportunity,’’ Whalen said. “I started with USA Basketball in Brazil, so finishing at the Olympics back in Brazil seems like I’ve come full circle.’’
Whalen complimented the players, coaches and USA Basketball executives she has worked and played with. That includes Geno Auriemma, who coached both of those Olympics gold medals teams, national team director Carol Callan and current national team coach Dawn Staley.
“I’ll always enjoy my memories with USA Basketball as a player,’’ Whalen said.
Said Staley: “Lindsay Whalen is probably my favorite point guard of all time, and that’s nothing against Sue Bird. Lindsay, I like her swag. I like her toughness, I like her mindset. She’s always thinking of ways in which to out-fox the opponent. I’m just sad I don’t get an opportunity to coach her in this capacity. But I’m glad that I got a chance to coach her when I was an assistant coach on the 2014 and 2016 USA teams.’’