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Kemba Walker, UCONN legend and 4x NBA All-Star, announces retirement from basketball

AS Monaco player #15 Kemba Walker is seen training ahead of the match for the 17th round of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague between AS Monaco and FC Barcelona. Monaco^ Monaco - 12-29-2023

Four-time NBA All-Star guard and UCONN legend Kemba Walker, 34, announced on social media that he is retiring from basketball.

Walker, who didn’t play in the NBA this past season (instead playing in the EuroLeague with AS Monaco), spent 12 NBA seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks. Walker also led the UConn Huskies to the 2011 NCAA title, scoring 23.5 points per game that season.

Walker his statement on X alongside the caption: “Thank you, basketball”. The statement read: “I want to start this by thanking God for everything he has given me. Basketball has done more for me than I could’ve ever imagined, and I am super thankful for the amazing journey I’ve had. With that, I’m here to share that I am officially retiring from the game of basketball. This has all been a dream. When I look back, I still can’t believe the things I achieved in my career. I know I couldn’t have made it to this point without my incredible support system around me. There are so many people to thank — my mom, dad and entire family, my teammates who have become family, and the coaches who believe in me and brought out the best in me. Basketball will forever be a part of my life so this isn’t goodbye. I’m excited for what’s next.”

Walker first rose to national prominence at UConn, and is perhaps still best known for his game-winning shot to beat Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Big East Tournament. He then led the Huskies to the Big East Tournament and NCAA Tournament titles later that season, and was named Most Outstanding Player of the latter event. (per CBS Sports.)

Walker, who was selected No. 9 overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats, spent his first eight seasons in Charlotte and made three All-Star appearances, an All-NBA Second Team and helped the franchise make the playoffs twice in 2014 and 2016. He was traded to the Boston Celtics ahead of the 2019-20 season, where he made another All-Star team in his first year and went on to play three more NBA seasons. Despite his success, lingering knee issues alongside three surgeries throughout his career limited him to nine games in his final NBA season with the Dallas Mavericks. Walker ends his NBA career as the Hornets’ all-time leader in points, 3-pointers, win shares and minutes played

Walker averaged 19.3 points, 5.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game in 12 NBA seasons, shooting 41.8% from the field and 36% from 3-point distance.

Editorial credit: Obatala-photography / Shutterstock.com

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