Veteran Point Guards Retire

Indiana Fever News Release
Indianapolis, Feb. 6, 2004


Indiana Fever point guards Sonja Henning and Coquese Washington both have retired from professional basketball, and will continue pursuit of their current careers in law and coaching, respectively.

Both athletes have earned law degrees; both helped solidify the Fever’s point guard position last season; and together, both are ending playing careers which feature a WNBA title with the Houston Comets as well as an NCAA championship.

“I want to thank both Coquese and Sonja for all that they have done for the Indiana Fever,” said Kelly Krauskopf, Indiana’s chief operating officer and general manager. “They provided veteran leadership both on and off the court to a young franchise. They will be missed. I wish each of them success in the next phase of their professional careers.”

Henning retires at the age of 34, ending a run of five WNBA seasons that included a championship with the Comets in her rookie season of 1999. She started all 32 regular season games en route to the ’99 title in Houston, but was a top choice of the Seattle Storm in the league’s 2000 Expansion Draft. During three seasons in Seattle, Henning became the franchise’s leader in steals and assists, but was traded back to Houston in June 2002. Released by the Comets, she played one game with the Washington Mystics to open the 2003 season and was acquired last June by the Fever. Henning, who helped Stanford to a national college championship in 1990 and played in Europe and the now-defunct American Basketball League before joining the WNBA, averaged 1.1 points and 1.3 assists while appearing in 23 games with the Fever.

She obtained her law degree from Duke University, and currently practices employment and labor law for Tonkon Torp LLP in Portland, Ore. She was the president of the WNBA Players Association during the 2003 WNBA labor negotiations.

Washington, 33, is in her sixth season as an assistant coach at Notre Dame - from where she earned an undergraduate degree and later a law degree. Originally assigned to the New York Liberty in 1998, she was traded to Houston before the 2000 season and helped the Comets to another WNBA championship one year after Henning’s departure. The following spring, from the sidelines, she helped guide Notre Dame to the 2001 NCAA title.

Midway through the 2002 WNBA campaign, Washington was traded to the Fever where she made an immediate impact - joining the Indiana franchise for only 11 regular season games, but leading the Fever to an 8-3 mark in those games as it qualified for its first playoff appearance. Washington averaged 7.2 points and 4.4 assists during the Fever’s 2002 playoff season. She began the 2003 season on the injured list before averaging 3.2 points and 2.4 assists in 20 games.