September 17, 2004

Semeka Randall Swaps Jersey For Clipboard

San Antonio Silver Stars Chief Operating Officer Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil has announced that Silver Stars guard Semeka Randall will retire from the WNBA after the 2004 season finale against the Charlotte Sting. Randall, a four-year WNBA veteran, made the decision to retire in conjunction with being named an assistant coach for the women’s basketball program at Michigan State University.

“I’m excited about starting a new chapter in my life,” said Randall. “I’m walking away from playing the sport, but am still part of the sport by giving back and helping kids. I’ve always believed this is what God had in mind for me. I’m thrilled to be at MSU.”

Randall came to San Antonio when the Utah Starzz relocated to the Alamo City after the 2002 season. In her two-plus seasons with the Silver Stars/Starzz, Randall has been the team’s number one option off the bench and has filled in the starting line up on numerous occasions. Entering tonight’s game, she has averaged 5.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in her 122-game WNBA career, including 54 starts. Randall enjoyed her best season as a rookie in 2001 with the Seattle Storm where she started 30 of 32 games, averaging a career-best 9.4 points and 3.3 rebounds.

“We couldn’t ask for this to happen to a better person,” Davis-Wrightsil said. “We are definitely going to miss Semeka’s leadership on and off the court and her positive outlook on everything, but this is great opportunity for her. She was one of the hardest worker’s I’ve ever been around in the game of basketball and I’m sure she will carry that through to MSU. She has a bright future ahead of her and we wish her the best of luck.”

Randall’s distinguished basketball career reaches much further than the WNBA, including playing in the National Women’s Basketball League, several seasons overseas and a collegiate resumé that features All-America honors and a national championship. She was a star guard for the Tennessee Lady Vols from 1997-2001, earning Kodak All-America first-team honors in 1999 and 2000. Randall was an integral part of Tennessee's 1998 NCAA Championship team that went 39-0, averaging 15.9 points as a freshman while earning honorable mention All-American recognition.

“Semeka is going to be sorely missed,” Silver Stars Interim Head Coach Shell Dailey said. “She was more like a second coach for the team. Semeka is a student of the game and can think the game. I knew what I was going to get out of her every time she took the floor. She always gave 110 percent and always hustled and fought until the buzzer sounded. Semeka is the best teammate a player could ever have.”

The accolades continued during her career at Tennessee. In addition to her All-American honors, Randall was named Women's Basketball Journal's Defensive Player of the Year in 1999 and 2000, was named first team All-Southeastern Conference in 1999 and 2000, was second team All-SEC and a member of the SEC All-Freshman team in 1998 and was on the NCAA Mideast Regional All-Tournament team in 1998 and 2000. She scored 1,915 points during her career at Tennessee (13.7 ppg) and added 716 rebounds (5.1 rpg), 286 steals and 236 assists. Randall ranks fifth on the Lady Vols' career charts in both points and steals. Tennessee posted a record of 134-10 during her four-year career, including championship game appearances in 1998 and 2000.

During the summer of 1998, Randall was the leading scorer for the gold medal-winning USA Jones Cup team.

In 2001-02, Randall started all 16 games at point guard and averaged 19 points while playing for the Israeli Professional Basketball League. She played in the Greek Professional Basketball League in 2002-03, again starting all 16 games for her squad. In 2003, she was a member of the Tennessee Fury of the National Women's Basketball League, averaging 12.2 points.

"I feel like I've done everything I could possibly do as a player," said Randall. "I won a national championship, I played professionally for four years, I played internationally; through basketball I've seen a whole lot of things. I think it would be great to be a stepping-stone for kids now to show you can get there through hard work and determination. I want to help other women realize their dreams the same way I did."

Randall got her first taste of coaching during the 2002-03 season, when she was an assistant coach at Cleveland State. During her season at CSU she worked with fellow assistant coach Al Brown – her former assistant coach at Tennessee – who is now also a member of the MSU staff.