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Tina Thompson to retire at the end of 2013 WNBA season

Seattle Storm forward and WNBA All-Time leading scorer Tina Thompson has announced that she will retire from the league at the conclusion of the 2013 season.

Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

After her 17th season in the WNBA, Tina Thompson has announced that she will retire from the league at the conclusion of this season.

"Basketball has been a safe haven, a protector, a comfort zone and a provider, as well as one of my life's joys," said Thompson in a Seattle Storm release. "I am forever grateful for my WNBA journey. I have experienced things I could never have imagined or dreamed of. I started this game at the age of nine; now at 38 my journey is coming to a close. I have an 8-year-old son and I am so thankful that Dyllan has been able to grow up in and share this journey with me. It has truly been a blessing and I am grateful for the experiences, both good and not so good. Those experiences have helped shape me into the woman I am today, the woman I am very proud to be. As I step into this next chapter of my life I will approach it with the same passion. It has been a great ride."

While many WNBA fans have expected this day to come at some point due to injuries last season and a subpar season with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2011, Thompson was actually quite productive for the Storm in her 16th season last year: she had the second most efficient scoring year of her career (57.5% true shooting percentage) and shot a career-high 42.7% from the 3-point line albeit in only 19 minutes per game.

Though she might not have been the dominant scorer that she once was in her heyday with the Houston Comets, that she was still able to maintain those levels of efficiency is a testament to what makes her special as a player.

"Tina Thompson is not only the all-time leading scorer, but one of the all-time greatest players and competitors to play in the WNBA," said Storm head coach and general manager Brian Agler in the release. "She was a major component to the success and championships of the Houston Comets. She has always represented the WNBA in a very professional and respectful manner."

Thompson is already the WNBA career record holder in points scored, minutes played and games started only figures to add to those records with the Storm this year.