And yet even with a packed gym in front her Monday, with dozens of media members and national TV cameras, Minnesota Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen does not yet know the breadth of her impact. The Minnesota native is one of the smartest players in the WNBA and the fact that LeBron James is shouting her out is indicative of how respected she is throughout the basketball community. In April of this year, Whalen was named the new head coach of her alma mater after Marlene Stollings left for the job at Texas Tech.
Sunday is the final day of the WNBA regular season and when the Lynx will honor Whalen's career.
Whalen played six seasons for CT, helping the Sun reach the 2004 and 2005 WNBA Finals.
The 36-year-old is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist who has appeared in the league finals eight times. She ranks as the franchise leader in assists, while ranking second in games played and fourth in scoring.
The Lynx didn't make the playoffs in 2010, but they ended up with the top pick in 2011, Maya Moore. She flourished in college, leading the Gophers to their only NCAA Final Four appearance in 2004, before being drafted by the Connecticut Sun.
Lindsay Whalen #13 of the Minnesota Lynx looks on during the game against the Seattle Storm on August 3, 2018 at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington.
Whalen made her impending retirement official on Monday at a packed news conference. For her career, she has averaged 11.5 points, 4.9 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game to go with a 46.1 field goal percentage. In the playoffs, Whalen has an additional 335 assists.
While Whalen's talent and on-court toughness made her a WNBA All-Star, there are also intangibles that contributed to her success.
The four-time WNBA champion has built up quite the resume over 14 years in the league.
Her retirement wasn't entirely unexpected. "I feel so blessed to have been on the sideline and have had a great seat throughout all of that".
If history is any indicator expect the wins to pile up fast for Whalen, the Gophers and Minnesota.