Stephanie White Retires From WNBA
The last remaining player from the Indiana Fever’s original roster, former Purdue and Indiana prep star Stephanie White has announced her retirement from the Women’s National Basketball Association.
White, who recently concluded her first season as an assistant coach at Kansas State, ends a playing career that vaulted her among the most recognizable and popular basketball figures in the history of Indiana basketball. One of only two women listed among the 50 greatest players in Indiana history when Conseco Fieldhouse opened its doors in 1999, White was acquired by the Fever prior to the 2000 WNBA Draft and became a mainstay with the Fever franchise – on and off the court – for five years.
Her roots in Indiana were first established while leading Seeger High School and breaking the state’s single-season scoring record en route to Indiana Miss Basketball honors as a senior in 1995. She also was the consensus National Player of the Year by Gatorade, Parade Magazine and USA Today while averaging 36.9 points, 13.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 7.0 steals per game. She accumulated a then-state record 2,869 points during her prep career while garnering prep All-America accolades in four straight seasons and leading Seeger to a 92-7 overall record.
From Seeger to Purdue, to her WNBA career with the Fever, to recent coaching assignments at area high schools and Ball State – White has cemented herself as one of the state’s greatest ambassadors of the sport. From the youth level to the pros, White’s name is synonymous with Indiana girl’s and women’s basketball.
"I have had such a great opportunity to not only play professional basketball in my home country, but also in my home state,” said White, acknowledging the establishment of the WNBA while she was in college.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience and want to thank my family for their love and support, the Pacers’ and Fever organizations for the opportunity to come back to Indiana and be a part of such a great environment at Conseco Fieldhouse. And most importantly, I sincerely thank the fans for their continued support throughout my basketball career. Indiana basketball fans are the best fans in the world and I am honored to have been able to play in front of them at every level of my career."
Following her college career, White was drafted by the Charlotte Sting (second round of the 1999 WNBA Draft, 21st overall) and played her rookie season before the Fever acquired her services prior to Indiana’s inaugural season.
From 2000 to 2003, White was a color analyst during the Indiana High School Girls’ Basketball State Finals, and during a 2002 WNBA season that she missed due to knee and ankle surgeries, she was a sideline reporter during Fever telecasts. Her injuries also marked the beginning of her current coaching career – serving at Lafayette Jefferson High School in 2001-02, and at Logansport High School in 2002-03. In 2003-04, she was an assistant coach at Ball State. One year later, White moved to Kansas State where she was on the bench during the Wildcats’ NCAA Tournament run last March.
Including her first WNBA season in Charlotte, White completed a five-year WNBA career that spanned 142 games. She started 12 games in her first season with the Fever, the same as she started last season in a year that was marked by nagging injury and the rehabilitation of a knee surgery sustained at the close of the 2003 WNBA campaign. One of her best games in a Fever uniform came last July, in fact, when she led Indiana to its first win over the Houston Comets, sparking the Fever with 11 points and a career-high 10 assists. It was the only double-double of her pro career.
Coincidentally, she also recorded the first triple-double in Purdue history – 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Indiana on Jan. 2, 1999.
Renowned since her high school days as a valuable shooter, an intelligent player and a good ballhandler, White averaged 5.9 points during her WNBA career, with 1.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists. She shot 36.5 percent from 3-point range and finishes her career third in Fever history in 3-point field goals (92). She is ranked among Indiana’s franchise leaders in a myriad of categories including: games played (112, 3rd); minutes played (2166, 3rd); assists (225, 3rd); steals (115, 3rd), points (684, 4th), free throws (182, 4th).