On Monday, the Washington Mystics announced that LaToya Sanders has retired. She will take a position with Monumental Sports & Entertainment Player Development group.
Sanders played 89 games for Washington from 2015-20, averaging 7.2 points and 5.9 rebounds, and was part of their 2019 WNBA championship team. She was originally acquired in the 2012 season but did not play due to overseas commitments with Kayseri Kaski in Turkey. She would go on to acquire Turkish citizenship and was part of their 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women (now the FIBA Women’s World Cup) team.
Sanders did not play in the 2020 season due to personal reasons.
The news is somewhat surprising because Washington re-signed her in February. However, Sanders is 34 years old and was toward the end of her playing career. But she still had enough left in the tank in my opinion.
In a release, General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault said the following:
LaToya has meant so much to our success and championship culture. As one of the premier defensive players in the WNBA, she set a tone for our growth, improvement, and maturity as a team over the past several years. She has had to work so hard on and off the court to be physically ready to play each game. I think only her husband Byron, our staff, and her teammates can really appreciate what she has done to be prepared each and every day and she has been a shining example for what it’s like to be a true professional.
While we are sad that she is retiring as a player, we are thrilled that she is beginning the next phase of her professional life as a member of our staff. She will continue to be a great mentor for her former teammates as part of our on-court player development, but will also join our off court efforts in the areas of community relations, social justice initiatives, youth programs, and marketing, among others. We look forward to LaToya continuing to make her mark with the Mystics family.
Congratulations on a successful career LaToya and we’re glad you’re still part of Monumental Basketball!