Jennifer Azzi Announces Retirement
“Jennifer is going to be sorely missed,” Silver COO Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil said. “She brought so much to the Silver Stars organization on and off the court. Jennifer’s team leadership is invaluable and it’s going to be hard not to have her in the locker room before and after games. Her guidance off the court is also going to be something that will be hard to replace. Jennifer will also be missed by the Silver Stars fans. From her first day in San Antonio she became an instant fan favorite.”
Azzi, a five-year WNBA veteran, made the move to San Antonio when the Utah Starzz relocated to the Alamo City after the 2002 season. In her four seasons with the Silver Stars/Starzz, Azzi became one of the most prolific players in franchise history. She leaves the Silver Stars as the franchises all-time leader in three-point shooting (44.6%, 128-287) and assists (532). She ranks among the Silver Stars Top 10 in six other statistical categories including games played (113), points scored (986), field goals made (298), free throws made (262), rebounds (299) and blocks (38). During her four years with the organization, Azzi averaged 8.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists in an incredible 35.8 minutes per game. Azzi also helped lead the Starzz to the playoffs in 2001 and 2002. In seven playoff games she averaged 6.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists.
Not only does Azzi’s name highlight the Silver Stars record books, but she also highlights the WNBA’s all-time lists in several categories. She retires from the WNBA as the league’s all-time leading three-point shooter connecting on 45.8 percent (158-345) of her shots from beyond the three-point line. In 1999, while playing for the Detroit Shock, she set the single season record for three-point shooting percentage at 51.7 percent (30-58). Azzi ranks sixth on the WNBA’s all-time assists chart with 638 handouts. She notched her 600th WNBA assist at Indiana on July 23, 2003 while wearing a Silver Stars uniform. Her 84.5 percent (348-412) career free throw shooting percentage ranks 13th among WNBA all-time leaders. During her WNBA career she has appeared in 141 games averaging 9.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 34.7 minutes per game.
"Jen has made far-reaching contributions to the women's game over the past decade and has played an important role in moving our sport forward during that time,” WNBA President Val Ackerman said. “At all levels -- at Stanford, on the national team and in the pros -- she has always exemplified professionalism, a tireless work ethic and a complete understanding of the importance of connecting with fans and serving as a role model for young people. "
Azzi’s professional basketball career reaches much further than the WNBA. Her remarkable career includes playing for U.S.A. Basketball, a three-year stint in the American Basketball League (ABL) and a number of years playing professionally in Europe. While playing for the U.S. Olympic Women’s Team, Azzi’s biggest basketball moment happened when she won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. She also won two gold medals with the U.S. Team at the 1990 and 1998 World Championships. Her other U.S.A. Basketball highlights include being named as an alternate for the 1992 Olympic Team and earning a bronze medal at the 1994 World Championships.
After the 1996 Olympics Azzi played three seasons in the ABL with the San Jose Lasers. In 1997 she was named to the ABL All-Star Team and in 1998 she bettered that performance by being named a starter for the West All-Stars. During the 1997-98 season she was named the ABL Player of the Month for December and was named to the All-ABL First Team. Before joining the ABL Azzi played professionally in Europe for five years from 1990-95. While overseas, she played in France, Italy and Sweden.
Azzi also had a storied collegiate career while at Stanford University from 1987-90. During her four years at Stanford, the Cardinal compiled a 101-23 record and made three NCAA Tournament appearances highlighted by the 1990 NCAA Title. During her run to the national championship, Azzi was named Most Outstanding Player (MOP) of the NCAA Final Four and the MOP of the NCAA West Regional. Her senior year was highlighted by being named the recipient of the Wade Trophy and the Naismith National Player of the Year Award. She was also named to the Kodak All-American First Team in 1989 and 1990 while earning Pacific-10 (Pac-10) Player of the Year honors both years as well.
“I’ve had a great experience over my 13-year career,” Azzi said. “What I remember the most is the people I’ve met along the way. Every athlete has their time to retire and I just feel that this is my time to move on and pursue my other interests, but I will always have a love for the game.”
Azzi will now put more of her time towards her business, Azzi Training, which runs fitness camps in California and Utah, and her speaking career.
“We are truly thankful for the contributions Jennifer made to the Silver Stars and the city of San Antonio,” Davis-Wrightsil said. “We look forward to talking with Jennifer about the opportunities with our organization now that she is no longer a player.”
The Silver Stars will continue to prepare for the 2004 WNBA Draft which will be held in April and the upcoming 2004 WNBA season. Fans interested in purchasing Silver Stars season tickets can do so by calling 444-5050 for tickets and information. Full-season ticket prices are $132.30, $276.30, $366.30 and $564.30, while the 10-Game Weekend Pak (Friday, Saturday and Sunday games only) prices are $83.50, $163.50 and $233.50.