Former Jayco Opal Bevilaqua retires

Former Jayco Opal Bevilaqua retires

Australian women’s basketball star Tully Bevilaqua, who is currently playing in the US-based WNBA with the San Antonio Silver Stars, has announced that she will retire at the conclusion of the 2012 season.

The West Australian guard has previously played in Australia with the Women’s National Basketball League for the Perth Breakers (1991-2000), Perth Lynx (2003-2004), Canberra Capitals (2004-2008) and West Coast Waves (2010-2011).

She was a member of Australia’s World Championship Jayco Opals team in 2006 and also won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

A 14-year veteran of the American WNBA, Bevilaqua has played in 449 WNBA career games, notching more than 1,900 points and is one of only four players to record 800 career assists and 500 career steals.

"It is with both sadness and excitement that I am officially announcing my retirement at the end of the 2012 WNBA season," Bevilaqua said. "I have been honoured to play in this league for 14 years but am excited to make my house a home and spend more time with my family. Thank you to the San Antonio Silver Stars organisation for giving me the opportunity to play out my career in the Silver and Black and of course a big thank you to all my fans for all your support. Your chants will always be remembered... Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi."

A native of Australia, Bevilaqua began her WNBA career with the Cleveland Rockers in 1998. She spent three seasons with the Portland Fire (2000-02) and two with Seattle (2003-04), helping the Storm to a WNBA Championship in 2004 alongside Jayco Opals teammate Lauren Jackson.

A six-time WNBA All-Defensive Team honouree, Bevilaqua spent six seasons (2005-10) with the Indiana Fever, helping the team to five playoff appearances, including three Eastern Conference Finals bids. She joined the Silver Stars as a free agent prior to the 2011 season and played in all 37 games, averaging 2.9 points with 1.4 rebounds per game while ranking sixth in the WNBA in assist to turnover ratio (2.2). She has played in all 12 games to date this season.

"Tully has been one of the best defenders and competitors this league has seen," San Antonio head coach and general manager Dan Hughes said. "She has messaged insanity and dedication on the court, in the locker room and in all the communities she has played."

Bevilaqua will be honoured at a Silver Stars home game following the Olympic Break.