Candace Parker, now retiring, won three WNBA titles with three different teams, including the Chicago Sky. | Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Candace Parker has retired from basketball.

At least, from playing basketball professionally.

The WNBA superstar announced her retirement from competitive play on Instagram. And the message couldn’t have been more full of love, from the image to the text.

“I always wanted to walk off the court with no parade or tour, just privately with the ones I love,” she wrote on Instagram. “What now was to be my last game, I walked off the court with my daughter. I ended the journey just as I started it, with her.”

Parker came out publicly in late 2021, she said at the urging of her daughter.

Parker was the first overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft. She was coming off of back-to-back NCAA championships with the Tennessee Volunteers.

Since then, she has won just about every accolade an athlete can possibly dream of.

Parker has been named the WNBA MVP twice, including her rookie season in 2008. Of course, she won Rookie of the Year that season as well.

In 2021, Parker was ranked as the ninth-best WNBA player of all time. Since then she’s won two WNBA championships with two different teams, the Chicago Sky and, last season, the Las Vegas Aces. That was in addition to her team’s WNBA title in 2016.

The Aces spelled out some of her accomplishments:

“A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Parker led LA to 11 playoff appearances, including the 2016 WNBA Championship. She earned her second MVP award in 2013 when she averaged 17.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists.”

Yes, Parker won three league titles with three different franchises. There are very few professional athletes in any sport, men’s or women’s, who can say that.

Parker has also built a career off the court, becoming one of the top NBA analysts for TNT. She is routinely highlighted as a commentator on NBA games, via the network.

This too is groundbreaking. For so long, the voices of women were not elevated in regards to men’s sports. That Parker is part of the top NBA broadcast team is special.

Now that she’s retired, we could possibly hear her more, talking about the play of the WNBA.

Parker’s play on the court will be missed. And we look forward to hearing her voice on TV even more.