Basketball

Why former Monarchs guard Ticha Penicheiro is feeling ‘blessed’ years after retiring

Former Monarchs point guard Ticha Penicheiro is going to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. It was announced Monday that Penicheiro will be part of a seven-woman class to be enshrined on June 8.
Former Monarchs point guard Ticha Penicheiro is going to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. It was announced Monday that Penicheiro will be part of a seven-woman class to be enshrined on June 8. Sacramento Bee file

Ticha Penicheiro was one of the best point guards in WNBA history.

Her flashy passing ability helped her retire in 2012 as the league’s career assists leader, a record that stood until September 2017, when Sue Bird surpassed the mark.

Penicheiro’s leadership on the floor helped lead her to another honor: Hall of Famer.

She was among a class of seven announced Monday to be enshrined in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. The induction is June 8 in Knoxville, Tenn.

“This is a very surreal feeling, but I’m so honored, blessed and humbled to be one of the inductees into the (Hall of Fame),” Penicheiro wrote on Twitter. “Congrats to the rest of this year’s class and thank you to everybody that always supported me!!”

Joining Penicheiro in the Class of 2019 are Beth Bass, Joan Cronan, Nora Lynn Finch, Ruth Riley, Carolyn Bush Roddy and Valerie Still.

Penicheiro played 15 seasons in the WNBA, including her first 12 with the Monarchs. She helped lead Sacramento to the 2005 championship with a 3-1 victory over the Connecticut Sun. A four-time All-Star, she earned All-WNBA first-team honors twice and led the league in assists seven times. Her 2,599 assists is second to Bird, who has 2,831.

Before her WNBA career, Penicheiro starred at Old Dominion, where in 1998 as a senior she won the Wade Trophy, given to the best player in NCAA Division I women’s basketball.

Penicheiro is now an agent with Sports International Group, Inc.

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