Keeping up with Ticha

Hello Sky / WNBA fans

As majority of you might know, I have hung up my sneakers and consequently won't be playing this summer. Just like any other job, retirement is inevitable, but it just happens a bit prematurely when it comes to playing professional sports...BUT, I'm not ready to cash out on my 401K quite yet! :)

Because I didn't head overseas to play, I had the opportunity to relax: I went to Portugal for 6 weeks to visit my family and friends and then brought my parents to the States, where they had the chance to come back to Sacramento and also visit Miami.

Due to my free time, I was finally able to pursue my American citizenship process. I had to study for an American history test. I felt like I was back in college, stressed out with finals. But I aced the test and was awarded American citizenship on February 21st, so now I'm a proud Portuguese-American.

I also had the opportunity to participate in the NBA All-Star festivities in Houston. It's always a great honor to be a part of this amazing weekend where you, literally, rub shoulders with basketball greatness. From Lebron James to Magic Johnson, there is just "amazingness" everywhere.

The "NBA/WNBA cares" program does a great job creating the "day of service" where all the athletes get out to the community and lend a hand. From painting, to hammering, cleaning...there's always something to do to help improve somebody's life. I was able to roll up my sleeves and contribute to renovating some homes in the Houston community.

The highlight of my weekend was being able to participate in the "Unified Game" - the Special Olympics' All-Star. We had 4 WNBA players, 4 NBA legends and 4 NBA rookies participating along with some of the best Special Olympic athletes. I had so much fun and I can proudly announce that I was not blocked by the legend Dikembe Mutombo...NOT TODAY!! :)

But my retirement was "short lived" haha... I'm already gearing up for the next chapter in my life. I recently got certified as a WNBPA agent and will, hopefully, represent some young ladies coming out of college this year. I have known that I wanted to be an agent for the past 5 years, so it has been a natural transition. Even though I miss playing, this will be a great opportunity to stay close and also give back to this amazing game that gave me so much joy. I've had the opportunity to follow the women's college game up close since I have been in the States and I know the game is in good hands. These upcoming young ladies: Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins, Elena Delle Donne and so many others will have a HUGE impact in the WNBA and the women's game in general.

I'm already "old news", so for now I will be just one of you guys: a fan that sits back, eats some popcorn and cheers with fist pumps and high fives! :) So, I will see you around...

MUCH LOVE,

Ticha Penicheiro

PS : When I quizzed my friends on the 100 questions of the American history test...the results were BAD! Maybe we should get some citizenships revoked around here...or I guess my friends should just brush up on their American history!! :)