WNBA's Currie retires, starts new career at Nike

The Washington Mystics' Monique Currie retired from the WNBA on her 36th birthday Monday, but she's headed to a new adventure doing something else she loves.

Currie will be going to work at Nike Headquarters in Portland, Oregon, where she will be product line manager for Nike sportswear, Fuelband and footwear.

"Basically, it's the person between the consumer and Nike in figuring out what people like and don't like," Currie said. "What we should come out with next, how our products are doing.

"It's basically kind of what I do anyway: I love sneakers. It will be different than playing, but I'm super-excited about it."

Currie and the Mystics went to the WNBA Finals last season for the first time in her career. She debated staying one more season to pursue a title after the Mystics fell to Seattle in the Finals, but said the opportunity at Nike came at the perfect time to help her make the decision to retire.

Currie hopes to help feature the WNBA in general and individual women's players in regard to future products.

"I'm always going to be an advocate for women's basketball in getting the proper exposure," Currie said. "I'll have a chance to meet the people who make those decisions. And just put it in their ear so they know how important women's basketball is to so many people. Hopefully, I can be a voice in that."

She will be moving soon and officially starts April 1. She joked that the hardest part of the move will be deciding which of her many pairs of shoes will go to Portland with her.

Currie, a native of Washington, D.C., was a star at Duke from 2001 to 2006, where she played twice in the Women's Final Four (2002, 2006). Duke also went to the Final Four in 2003, but Currie redshirted the 2002-03 season with a knee injury.

Currie was a two-time WBCA All-American for the Blue Devils, averaging 15.2 points and 6.2 rebounds for her career. She was the 2002 ACC tournament MVP as a freshman and the ACC player of the year in 2006 as a junior. The Blue Devils lost the 2006 national championship game in overtime to Maryland her senior year.

The next day, she was the No. 3 overall draft pick by Charlotte behind LSU's Seimone Augustus (Minnesota) and Rutgers' Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix) in the WNBA draft. Currie went on to play 13 years the league, although her 2011 season was limited to four games because of injury.

After Charlotte folded after her rookie year, she was picked first in the dispersal draft by Chicago, and then was traded to her hometown Mystics. She played for Washington from 2007-2014. Currie spent the 2015 season with Phoenix, was traded to San Antonio for 2016, and then returned by trade to Phoenix during the 2017 season. Last year, she played her final season back with the Mystics again.

Currie played 411 total regular-season WNBA games, averaging 10.3 points and 4.1 rebounds. In 23 career playoff games, she averaged 6.4 PPG and 3.5 RPG.

"The most fun I had in my career was just being around my teammates, building those relationships," Currie said. "And playing in the Finals this past year was the furthest I'd been in my WNBA career, and it was a great experience. We didn't come out of it how I would have liked, but just being in the Finals was amazing.

"I loved that and playing for the fans in Washington. I really enjoyed my time in Phoenix, too, to play in such a great environment as they have with the fans there."

Currie also played extensively overseas, in Korea, Spain, Romania, Turkey, Italy, Poland, Russia and Israel.

"Mo [Curre] is one of the fiercest competitors I ever had the privilege of coaching," former Duke coach Gail Goestenkors said. "She continued to grow her game and embrace new challenges. She was and is always looking to learn and grow. I have no doubt she will continue to be successful in this next chapter of her life."