Ticha Penicheiro, the former Monarchs star who retires after tonight's WNBA game between the Washington Mystics and her Chicago Sky (5 p.m., NBA), said the decision was easy.
She's 38 years old, and she's been bothered throughout her final season by sore hamstrings, sore Achilles' tendons and more sore body parts than she can count.
"I'm like an old car," Penicheiro said in a quick phone chat Friday. "Too many miles."
Other than that, she has few complaints. There isn't much she hasn't accomplished.
She retires as the league's leader in assists; second all-time in steals; a four-time All-Star; a member of the WNBA's 15 best players of all time in 2011; and, most notably, the crafty point guard on the Monarchs 2005 WNBA championship team.
A native of Portugal and the No. 2 overall draft pick out of Old Dominion (1998), Penicheiro played 12 seasons for the Monarchs. She also will be remembered as the most creative playmaker of her generation. Behind-the-back passes. No-look passes. Baseball passes. Ball fakes that froze defenders. She did it all, emerging as a more disciplined female version of the Kings' Jason Williams.
Penicheiro, who played two seasons with the Sparks and her final year with the Sky, has only one regret: She wanted to retire as a Monarch.
"I was so sad when the team folded (November, 2009)," she said. "I would have retired in Sacramento.
was amazing. We still feel like sisters."
What to do
College football, North Dakota at Sacramento State, 6:05 p.m., Hornet Stadium: A victory would give the Hornets a 3-1 record, their best start since 1999.
Who will finish with more wins this season?
Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Which Pacific-12 Conference school has the best football team this season?
Total votes: 188
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