One of the greatest defenders in the history of the WNBA announced her retirement this week.
Alana Beard will end her career after 15 seasons. The WNBA champion was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018 during her time with the Los Angeles Sparks and helped lead the team to the 2016 championship. Beard currently sits at third all-time in steals with 710.
Her career includes nine WNBA All-Defensive Team selections and four All-Star selections.
Extremely thankful for all the memories the game has given me but most grateful for the relationships I’ve built throughout my journey. Thank you❤️! #takingmytalentstomommyhood ✌???? https://t.co/N1nt7fEkLg
— Alana Beard (@Alanabeard20) January 23, 2020
"I am so grateful for the many years I've been able to play the game I love, for the amazing players I've had the opportunity to play with and compete against an for the tremendous fans I've been lucky enough to play in front of," said Beard per release on Thursday. "I am excited for my next chapter and ready to pursue my next career. I look forward to using my platform to create opportunities for the communities that supported me throughout my journey, women and people of color."
Beard was drafted second overall in the 2014 WNBA Draft by the Washington Mystics following her collegiate career at Duke, where became the first NCAA player to have 2,600 points, 500 assists, and 400 steals. The Shreveport, La., native played for the Mystics from 2004 to 2009. She sat for two seasons to recover from foot and ankle injuries. In 2012, Beard signed with the Los Angeles Sparks, where she played for the remainder of her career.
During her career, Beard appeared in 419 regular-season games (402 starts) and 42 playoff games, averaging 11.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals per contest. She also shot 43.5 percent from the field.