May 23, 2024

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WNBA legend Sue Fowl retires after Seattle Storm playoff loss : NPR

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WNBA legend Sue Fowl retires after Seattle Storm playoff loss : NPR

WNBA legend Sue Fowl retires after Seattle Storm playoff loss : NPR

Sue Fowl reacts after Tuesday’s sport, the final of her profession, on the 2022 WNBA Playoffs semifinals in Seattle, Wash.

Steph Chambers/Getty Photographs


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Sue Fowl reacts after Tuesday’s sport, the final of her profession, on the 2022 WNBA Playoffs semifinals in Seattle, Wash.

Steph Chambers/Getty Photographs

Basketball legend Sue Fowl performed the final sport of her unparalleled 20-year profession Tuesday night time, stepping off the court docket to thunderous chants of “Thanks, Sue” regardless of her crew’s playoff loss.

The Seattle Storm — for which Fowl has performed her total profession — fell to the Las Vegas Aces in Sport 4 of their semifinal collection, in a tearful finish to what Fowl had beforehand promised could be her final season.

“I am happy with all the things we have completed right here,” she stated after the sport, in accordance with ESPN. “After all I am unhappy, however there’s happiness too, to have the ability to have a second like that with the followers, to have them chant the way in which they did. I do know the tears do not appear like blissful tears, however there’s numerous happiness.”

Fowl’s storied profession has redefined basketball in Seattle and nationwide. The WNBA designated her one of many 25 best gamers in league historical past final yr (after naming her one in all its 20 greatest-ever gamers at its Twentieth-anniversary celebration in 2016, and one in all its 15 best gamers 5 years earlier than that).

Amongst many highlights: The 2002 No. 1 total draft decide went on to grow to be WNBA’s all-time chief in each assists (over 3,000) and profession begins (549), and the one participant within the league to have appeared in 500 profession video games. She’s received 4 WNBA championships and took part in a report 12 All-Star video games, and in addition received 5 consecutive Olympic gold medals for the U.S. girls’s basketball crew.

As level guard, Fowl both scored or assisted on practically 33{cf07cd047201b183b19c0b335dbd7d35a498f84568531c8abe8643bd3ccfd494} of each Storm basket in her 18 seasons with the crew (she took two off as a result of accidents), and had a hand in 27.6{cf07cd047201b183b19c0b335dbd7d35a498f84568531c8abe8643bd3ccfd494} of each basket scored within the crew’s historical past.

Fowl poses together with her gold medal on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games final August.

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Fowl poses together with her gold medal on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games final August.

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“She’s going to be a kind of Mt. Rushmore, Mt. Everest gamers who you look to each time you concentrate on the greatness of the gamers,” sports activities journalist Howard Bryant instructed NPR earlier this yr. “I imply, male, feminine — you’ll be able to’t actually high what she’s achieved.”

Fowl can also be identified for her contributions and activism off the court docket.

She’s an advocate for LGTBQ youth, and launched the “Love Is” marketing campaign and vogue model with soccer star (and her fiance) Megan Rapinoe. And as vice chairman of the WNBA gamers union, she labored together with her colleagues to navigate taking part in throughout a pandemic and taking a stand in opposition to racial injustice.

She spoke to NPR in 2020 in regards to the significance of WNBA gamers’ activism, including that feminine athletes are used to being judged on just about all the things.

“While you’re a male athlete you are allowed to only play your sport,” she stated. “However all the things about us, no matter our play on the court docket, we’re judged on. We’re judged on what we appear like, we’re judged on who we love. And it has been that means for a lot of, a few years.”

Fowl indicators autographs for followers earlier than Sport Two of the 2022 WNBA Playoffs semifinals in August.

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Fowl indicators autographs for followers earlier than Sport Two of the 2022 WNBA Playoffs semifinals in August.

Ethan Miller/Getty Photographs

In recent times Fowl turned the primary WNBA participant (and third American basketball participant ever) to win 4 championships in three completely different a long time, in addition to the primary WNBA participant (and fifth American basketball participant) to report at the least eight assists in a sport after turning 40.

Her retirement does not come as a shock. Fowl had indicated on the time that the 2021 season could be her final — however followers’ chants of “yet another yr” helped change her thoughts and get her again within the sport for a remaining flight, because the league has known as it. Now she says she’s prepared.

“After all my physique feels good,” Fowl instructed ESPN on Tuesday, “so that may trick ya, however there is a cause why I felt comfy and I felt assured on this being my final yr. Having the ability to say that out loud was a giant hurdle. As soon as I form of jumped over that, I knew I did the correct factor due to how I felt afterward.”

Fowl has stated she’s going to miss basketball, and steered she is probably not leaving the game solely. In recent times she’s gotten concerned with different ventures throughout the low season, together with public talking, analyzing girls’s faculty basketball and launching multimedia and commerce firm TOGETHXR with fellow athletes Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim and Simone Manuel.

She has talked about eager to “do issues in a means that grows the pie for everyone,” as she instructed ESPN final month.

“I really feel actually enthusiastic about that, given my expertise as a feminine athlete combating for scraps,” she stated. “I do not need that to be the case for the subsequent era.”

Bryant, the sports activities journalist, instructed NPR that he thinks Fowl’s legacy can be not simply in her accolades, however in serving to develop basketball and galvanizing so many ladies to get within the sport.

Fowl is retiring in the identical yr that a number of different feminine greats are stepping again, like tennis’ Serena Williams and observe and discipline star Allyson Felix — all of whom have leveraged their time and expertise to assist make their sports activities extra accessible for the subsequent era.

Fowl goes to the basket within the girls’s remaining between the U.S. and Japan throughout the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games in August 2021.

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Fowl goes to the basket within the girls’s remaining between the U.S. and Japan throughout the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games in August 2021.

Brian Snyder/Pool/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

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