Nikki McCray Announces Retirement

June 28, 2006, CHICAGO — Chicago Sky Guard Nikki McCray is retiring from women’s basketball after having been in the WNBA for eight years. McCray, a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, has a career that spans almost as long as the history of the WNBA.

"Nikki is a true icon of women’s basketball and has had an amazing career," said Dave Cowens, general manager and head coach of the Chicago Sky. "Her knowledge through her tenure with the WNBA has been extremely valuable to our team and to the other players and we are honored to have had her part of our inaugural season."

McCray played her college ball for the Tennessee Lady Vols who went to the NCAA tournament four years in a row with a combined 122-11 record. She started her WNBA career in 1998 with the Washington Mystics where she led the team in scoring, three-point percentage and assists, ranked 2nd on the team in three-pointers made and 3rd in steals. She was ranked fourth in the league in scoring in 1999 and was a WNBA All-Star Game starter in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

McCray is ranked 24th on the WNBA’s list of all-time scorers with 2,528 points. McCray helped the United States capture the Olympic gold medal in 1996 as part of the historic USA Basketball Women’s National team that compiled a combined 60-0 record. She was also a member of the gold medal winning 2000 Olympic gold medal women’s basketball team.

"I started in the WNBA with an expansion team in Washington and now I finish with an expansion team in Chicago, which is a great city." McCray said. "As a pioneer in this league, it has meant so much to me to have developed so many great relationships in all the cities I have played in. I will especially miss my fans who stuck with me through thick and thin. I’m looking forward to enjoying my family and getting into coaching. Playing the role of the veteran and mentoring the younger players, I feel coaching is the next stage for me."

McCray joined the Sky as a free agent after completing the 2005 WNBA season with the San Antonio Silver Stars. She appeared in 11 games for the Chicago Sky.

The Chicago Sky is the 14th team in the WNBA and is led by Cowens, a member of the NBA Hall of Fame. The season runs through Aug. 12 with 17 regular -season home games.