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Alana Beard retires from WNBA after 15-year career

Beard played for the Mystics from 2004-11 and the Los Angeles Sparks 2012-19.

Connecticut Sun v Washington Mystics
Alana Beard played for the Washington Mystics from 2004-11 before signing with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Long-time WNBA veteran and Washington Mystics alumna Alana Beard retired from the league on Wednesday. She played for Washington from 2004-11 and for the Los Angeles Sparks from 2012-19 where she won a championship in the 2016 WNBA season.

Beard leaves the WNBA as one of the league’s best perimeter defenders. She was a two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018, won five WNBA All-Defensive First Team and four All-Defensive Second team selections during her career.

Though she won most of her defensive team honors with the Los Angeles Sparks, whom she played from 2012-19, she was also a four-time WNBA All-Star from 2005-07 and 2009, all with the Mystics.

As a Mystic, Beard played on three playoff teams in 2004, 2006 and 2009. Her best season statistically was in 2006 when she averaged 19.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Though Beard was on Washington’s roster in the 2010 and 11 seasons, she also did not play during this time due to an ankle injury she suffered toward the end of the 2009 season.

I’ve always appreciated Beard’s time as a Mystic and regard her as the best guard to play for the team in franchise history. Like many of Washington’s best players before, during and even after that time, it was unfortunate that Beard didn’t play for a contending Mystics team.

Congratulations on a storied career Alana, and we hope to see you soon at ESA!