Stacey Dales-Schuman, the starting shooting guard for the Washington Mystics and a popular player with fans, announced her retirement yesterday, saying that she "no longer had fun playing anymore."
The Mystics' first-round pick (third overall) in the 2002 WNBA draft, Dales-Schuman played an important role in the team's late-season charge from last to first that catapulted it into the playoffs last season. In three seasons, Dales-Schuman averaged 9.3 points, 2.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds.
Stacey Dales-Schuman, the starting shooting guard for the Mystics last season, announced her retirement.
(Tony Dejak - AP)
"I still am very capable of playing," said the 25-year-old Dales-Schuman. "At the same time, I don't feel the urge to gear myself up for it anymore."
Dales-Schuman, who helped lead Oklahoma to the NCAA finals her senior year, plans to continue her work as a sideline reporter for ESPN, covering men's and women's college basketball. The network recently added her to its college football coverage.
A gritty player known for her hustle and intelligence, Dales-Schuman made the WNBA all-star team in 2002 and became a fan favorite in Washington, the city that typically draws the WNBA's highest attendance.
In three seasons, Dales-Schuman also had seen a great deal of upheaval.
The club's best player, Chamique Holdsclaw, missed the final month of the season last year as she battled depression. The Mystics finished 9-25 in 2003. The club has had seven coaches in seven seasons.
Dales-Schuman acknowledged that there were "some ups and downs" during her time with the team but said they did not influence her decision. She said she loved her teammates and has received well-wishes from many of them, including Holdsclaw and guard Alana Beard.
Susan O'Malley, president of Washington Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns the Mystics and Washington Wizards, said that Dales-Schuman is welcome back any time.
"I said to her that if you change your mind about getting involved with any aspect of the game please call me," O'Malley said, "She is a talented, smart basketball player that has done an enormous amount for our organization."