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updated: 9/19/2012 2:18 PM

Sky point guard Penicheiro to retire

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  • Chicago Sky's Ticha Penicheiro (21) will retire at the end of the season as the WNBA's all-time assists leader and ranked No. 2 in steals. Sky coach Pokey Chatman says Penicheiro's knowledge and passion for the game are as important as the records she set.

      Chicago Sky's Ticha Penicheiro (21) will retire at the end of the season as the WNBA's all-time assists leader and ranked No. 2 in steals. Sky coach Pokey Chatman says Penicheiro's knowledge and passion for the game are as important as the records she set.
    Associated Press

  • Ticha Penicheiro (21) of the Chicago Sky poses for a photo during the 2012 WNBA Media Day on May 7, 2012 at the Sachs Recreation Center in Deerfield, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

      Ticha Penicheiro (21) of the Chicago Sky poses for a photo during the 2012 WNBA Media Day on May 7, 2012 at the Sachs Recreation Center in Deerfield, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@dailyherald.com  The Sky's Ticha Penicheiro argues a call with the referee, during Chicago Sky vs. San Antonio Silver Stars WNBA action.

      Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@dailyherald.com The Sky's Ticha Penicheiro argues a call with the referee, during Chicago Sky vs. San Antonio Silver Stars WNBA action.

 
By Daily Herald News Services

After a 15-year career in the WNBA, point guard Ticha Penicheiro of the Chicago Sky will retire after the 2012 season.

Her final WNBA game, barring the postseason, will be Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. when Chicago hosts the Washington Mystics at Allstate Arena in its regular-season finale.

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Penicheiro is the WNBA's record holder in assists, having led the league in that category an unprecedented seven times, and she also finish her career with the second most steals in league history.

"As they say 'all good things must to come to an end,' and unfortunately the time has come for me to walk away from this game I love," said Penicheiro. "I would just like to thank, in a general way, the people involved in my career: from my coaches to my teammates to the WNBA and of course the fans. Basketball has given me more than I could ever imagine, and I will continue to give back and stay close to this amazing sport. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all the support throughout the years!"

The point guard from Portugal was named to the WNBA's Top 15 players of All-Time in 2011, and has earned two All-WNBA First Team selections in addition to four WNBA All-Star Game invitations in her career, which included leading the Sacramento Monarchs to win the WNBA Championship in 2005.

In college, Penicheiro led Old Dominion University to the 1997 NCAA Championship game. As a senior, she earned the Wade Trophy as the nation's top player, and she was a two-time Kodak First Team all-American in 1997 and 1998.

Penicheiro started her career in the WNBA with the Sacramento Monarchs, who chose her with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1998 draft. She played for the Monarchs for 12 seasons, nine of which she led her team into the postseason. The Monarchs played twice for the WNBA Championship and won it in 2005 in four games over the Connecticut Sun. Following Sacramento's departure from the WNBA, Penicheiro signed with the Los Angeles Sparks for two seasons before joining the Sky as a free agent this season.

"I could talk for days regarding the admiration and respect I have for Ticha's mastery of the point guard position and overall impact on the game," said Pokey Chatman, Sky head coach and general manager. "It's more than the sheer numbers, although they're quite impressive. It's her knowledge, love and respect for the game, and the fact she's a great teammate that will distance her from the pack. She's meant so much to women's basketball, I simply want to say 'thank you.'"

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