Katie Douglas retiring after 14 years

Katie Douglas has decided to hang it up, announcing her retirement from basketball Friday after 14 seasons in the WNBA. One of the top women’s basketball players from Indiana, the Perry Meridian and Purdue graduate left her mark on the game at every level.

“This was a very difficult decision for me because basketball has been such a big part of my life, but I believe I am making the right choice,” Douglas said Friday. “My back has not responded to treatment the way I hoped it would. I have no expectation that I would be able to play at a level that is acceptable to me, so rather than compete as a shell of myself, I am choosing to retire.”

It’s unfortunate that the 35-year-old, taken in the same draft class as Tamika Catchings, can’t get another two years or so from her body. It took a toll over the years, however, playing year-round for more than a decade.

Douglas scoring at the rim so skillfully with her left hand. (Frank McGrath Photo)

Douglas scoring at the rim so skillfully with her left hand. (Frank McGrath Photo)

The majority of WNBA players play at home in the United States during the summer — May through September — and then go overseas for more basketball and a better payday in the “offseason.” Douglas did that for the majority of her pro career, which isn’t easy physically or mentally.

There was the ankle injury that kept Douglas out of the 2012 WNBA Finals where the Indiana Fever captured its first and only championship. The following year, she played in just four games because of a nagging back injury. She then re-joined the Connecticut Sun for the 2014 season, which turned out to be her last, and played in all 32 games.

But enough was enough for the five-time WNBA All-Star, leaving her with a bittersweet feeling as she ends a mega chapter in her life.

Douglas was drafted by the Orlando Miracle — who folded after four years in 2002 — 10th overall in the 2001 WNBA Draft. In 2008, the Fever were able to bring the hometown gal home via a trade with Connecticut. As a ball boy at the time (and 10 years total), I got to know her and the type of person she is.

She’s always loud, full of jokes, and ready to pull pranks on her teammates. She had a locker full of clothes and a love for shoes. Some called her barbie and others playfully called her a diva. But she was well liked in the locker room, and adored in the stands.

I, too, retired from the Fever … in 2012 after the title run. For my last couple of years, I rebounded for KT before every game, provided her with the names of the officials, and we’d usually trade jabs. When she was ready for her pregame stretch with about 30 minutes on the clock, she’d walk into the locker room and shout “BRANDON!!!” to get the former strength coach’s attention.

“Obviously Katie was an exceptional player at every level and had a tremendous career,” said Fever head coach Stephanie White, who coached Douglas and won a NCAA title with her at Purdue in 1999.

“There isn’t much she didn’t accomplish on the court. It was thrilling for me to win a championship with her in college and WNBA. As a friend, I hate to see her end her career because of injury, but her health and well-being are top priority. No matter what she chooses to pursue, I know she will be a success and I certainly wish her the best.”

Just a few weeks ago, she was inducted into the Purdue University Athletics Hall of Fame.

Katie Douglas and Scott Agness

KT played for the Fever from 2008-2013.

She left her imprint on the basketball world, memorable for her feistiness on the court as a left-handed player with a quick trigger from outside and a willingness to slash to the goal.

Though I think she very well may stay around the game in a different capacity, Douglas will now have nothing getting in the way of her love for shopping and traveling.

She had what seemed like a bazillion Delta points so she would always get moved to First Class when the team flew Delta. Those points pile up in a hurry when you travel like she does — to Florida, overseas, and certainly to warm and exotic locations.

Douglas and the beach get along very well.

In 412 career games over 14 seasons, Douglas averaged 13.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists per game and shot 41.5 percent from the floor. Playing six summers in Indy, Douglas became the Fever’s second-leading scorer in franchise history and she still has the record for most points in a single game: 34 in 2009.

“One of the historical highlights of our franchise is that Katie played here for six years,” said Fever President and GM Kelly Krauskopf. “There’s no question that much of our success is attributed to her being a member of our great playoff teams. She has been such an inspiration to many little girls in Indiana who dream of being the next Katie Douglas.”

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://vigilantsports.com/katie-douglas-retires-from-basketball/trackback/