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UConn great Renee Montgomery retires from basketball

The 11-year WNBA veteran decides to hang it up to continue focusing on social justice reform.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

After an 11-year WNBA career, former UConn women’s basketball star Renee Montgomery announced her retirement from basketball on Tuesday.

“I enjoyed all 11 years of it. I was one of those players that I enjoyed my time,” she said on her Remotely Renee podcast. “It was fun and I know it’s cliche to say because everybody always says it but I really do plan on staying around the game, staying around everything involving basketball. It’s in me, so I’m gonna do it.”

In June, Montgomery opted out of the 2020 WNBA season to be a “catalyst” for social justice reform. She also began a media career during that time, joining Fox Sports Southeast as an analyst for the Atlanta Hawks while also co-hosting TMZ Sports on FS1.

“When I opted out in June, I was thinking ‘Alright, I’m gonna hit a little pause button and I’m gonna see what’s going on in the community,’” she said. “I really did not expect that to be my last game, my last anything.”

Now, she wants to continue working towards that goal of helping create social justice reform while also building her own foundation, which she started in 2019.

“I just wanted to add to the momentum and it’s rolling right now,” she said.

Montgomery won two WNBA titles with the Minnesota Lynx in 2015 and 2017, made the All-Star team in 2011, and was named the league’s Sixth Woman of the Year in 2012. She averaged 9.7 points and 3.1 assists over 364 career games with Minnesota (2009, 2015-2017), the Connecticut Sun (2010-2014), Seattle Storm (2015), and Atlanta Dream (2017-2019).

She was selected fourth overall in the 2009 WNBA Draft after an illustrious career at UConn. During her four years in Storrs, Montgomery averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 assists per game. Her 632 total assists rank behind only Moriah Jefferson, Diana Taurasi, and Jennifer Rizzotti as the most in program history.

Montgomery was also a key piece in UConn’s undefeated 2009 national championship team alongside Tina Charles and Maya Moore. Individually, she was a two-time All-American in 2008 and 2009 and won the Nancy Lieberman Award in 2009 as the best point guard in the nation.