Star guard Sue Bird (C) won five gold medals with Team USA and four WNBA titles with the Seattle Storm. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
June 16 (UPI) -- Basketball legend Sue Bird will retire from the WNBA after this season, she announced Thursday on social media.
Bird, 41, is a four-time WNBA champion, 12-time All-Star and the league's all-time assists leader. She also is a five-time Olympic gold medalist for Team USA and won two national titles in college at UConn.
"I've decided this will be my final year," Bird wrote on Twitter and Instagram. "I have loved every single minute, and still do, so gonna play my last year, just like this little girl played her first."
Bird considered retiring this off-season, but signed a one-year contract to return to the Seattle Storm.
"As the season has gone, like I said, I pretty much knew, and then once I saw the schedule, and then once I started packing for this trip a little bit, I was like, 'Oh, this is gonna be my last time playing in New York," Bird said in a video posted by the Storm.
"My last time playing in front of my family and friends.' And so that's why the timing of this is what it is."
Bird entered the league as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft. She has spent her entire 19-year career with the Storm. Bird is averaging 11.9 points and 5.6 assists per game for her career.
She is the WNBA's all-time leader with 559 games played and 17,532 minutes played. She also ranks No. 2 all-time with 965 3-point field goals made and is No. 4 all-time with 700 steals.
The Storm started the regular season May 6. They beat the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday in Minneapolis. The Storm will face the Connecticut Sun at 7 p.m. EDT Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Montville, Conn.
The WNBA regular season runs through mid August. The playoffs start Aug 17 and run through September. The Storm are 9-5 and sit in second place in the Western Conference, three games behind the first place Las Vegas Aces.