- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 11, 2009

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Vickie Johnson, one of the four players remaining from the WNBA’s inaugural season in 1997, has decided to retire.

The two-time All-Star, who holds the league record for games played, announced Thursday she will end her career at the end of the season.

“I really enjoyed my 13 years in the league and I can truly say every time I stepped on the court, I gave 110 percent,” the 37-year-old Johnson said.

Johnson, who has averaged 10.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 379 games with the New York Liberty and San Antonio, is among the top 10 on the league’s career lists for field goals made (1,545) and attempted (3,586), assists (1,130) and points (4,039).

She is one of three players to have played every season, joining Los Angeles’ Tina Thompson and Indiana’s Tamecka Dixon. Sparks star Lisa Leslie, who previously announced this will be her last season, sat out the 2007 season after giving birth to a daughter.

Johnson was drafted by the Liberty in 1997 and played in the league’s first game, at Los Angeles on June 21, 1997. She spent nine years with New York, leaving as a free agent before the 2006 season.

“Vickie is one of our true pioneers, who has played for the love of the game throughout her career,” WNBA president Donna Orender said. “She plays the game today … just as she did in 1997, with remarkable consistency and energy, with a style that makes those around her better and as a great example of a leader, a team player and a role model.”

The former Louisiana Tech star, who played in the 1994 Final Four, has also played overseas in Israel, France, Hungary and Turkey.

The Silver Stars plan to hold a “Vickie Johnson Night” on Sept. 1 when they face Minnesota.

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