Renee Montgomery, a St. Albans native who won championships at every level of basketball from high school through the WNBA, ended her stellar playing career Tuesday when she announced she will retire from playing professionally.
Following a high school career that included Class AAA state girls basketball state championships at both Capital High and South Charleston, Montgomery went on to women’s college basketball powerhouse Connecticut and became a star for Hall of Fame Huskies coach Geno Auriemma.
Montgomery was so good at UConn she was the first person the school inducted her into its “Huskies of Honor” (a recognition program similar to a Hall of Fame) while she was still an active player. As a senior, Montgomery, along with standout teammate Maya Moore, led Connecticut to an unbeaten 39-0 record and the 2009 NCAA national championship. When she graduated, Montgomery left her name all of the UConn record books at the time — No. 1 in games played (150), No. 6 in points (1,990), No. 6 in field goals (703), No. 4 in 3-pointers (254), No. 3 in assists (632) and No. 5 in steals (266).
The Minnesota Lynx picked Montgomery with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft and played in 364 game for four teams — Minnesota, Connecticut, Seattle and Atlanta — before sitting out the 2020 season to pursue social justice endeavors. That pursuit turned into a passion, and on Tuesday Montgomery announced her retirement on her Remotely Renee show to fully devote herself to working on social justice issues.
On 6/18/20 I wrote a tweet opting out of the 2020 WNBA season & I talked about how Moments Equal Momentum. Today, on @remotelyrenee I announce my retirement f/ the WNBA, the game I love. One moment last year turned into a movement & the marathon will continue…
Dear Basketball, pic.twitter.com/EF3m4WKnjb
— Renee Montgomery (@ReneeMontgomery) February 9, 2021
Montgomery averaged 9.7 points per game over parts of 11 season in the WNBA between 2009 and 2019. In 2012 she was the WNBA’s Sixth Woman of the Year coming off the bench for Connecticut and she won two WNBA championships during her second stint with Minnesota (2015 and 2017).