MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – Minnesota Lynx Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve announced the hiring of five-time WNBA Champion and Lynx great Rebekkah Brunson as an Assistant Coach. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
Additionally, Brunson today announced her retirement from the WNBA. In a subsequent move, the Lynx announced she will become the second player in franchise history to have her number hoisted to the rafters of Target Center. The jersey retirement of #32 will take place at a to–be–determined game this summer.
“I put a lot of thought into these upcoming decisions because I love this city and this organization and always want to make sure I do what’s best for them, my family and the game,” said Brunson. “In that, I have decided to retire as a player and join the Minnesota Lynx coaching staff. I am excited for the opportunity to continue building the Lynx legacy. I am also thrilled with the idea of having my jersey hang in the rafters next to one of my favorite people, one of my best friends, and one of my favorite players. All of the work that we did together throughout our time as players here, to hang next to the banners we worked so very hard to earn, will be something that brings me an amazing amount of joy and fulfillment. I want to thank the fans who have supported me through my career as a player and hope you will continue to show your support as I do work for this team, for basketball and for the community. I also want to thank the organization for believing in me through these changes. And most importantly I want to thank my beautiful family for joining me on this wild ride, for always being there and being an unwavering support system.”
“It has been a privilege and honor to watch Rebekkah lead our team to four championships and I’m thrilled to have her return to our staff and lead the next generation of Lynx players,” said Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor. “Over her 15-year WNBA career, she won the most championships in league history, became the WNBA’s premier rebounder and represented our organization with class every step of the way. We congratulate Rebekkah and her family on this momentous occasion and I look forward to celebrating seeing her number brought up to the Target Center rafters with her and our fans this summer.”
“We are extremely happy that Rebekkah Brunson, one of the cornerstones of our franchise and the only player in league history with five WNBA Championships, will continue to play a role in the Lynx organization, this time as she begins the next phase of her basketball career” said Reeve. “Rebekkah has been a vital part of our franchise both on and off the court and we are thrilled about her addition to our staff.”
On Reeve’s staff, Brunson will assist in the team’s scouting efforts and player development with the team’s post players. She will become the third former Lynx player and WNBA great on Reeve’s coaching staff, joining Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Katie Smith and three-time WNBA champion Plenette Pierson.
A record five-time WNBA champion, Brunson’s illustrious career spanned 15 seasons as she appeared in 453 regular season games with Sacramento and Minnesota, averaging 9.2 ppg (on 46.6% shooting), 7.4 rpg and 1.1 apg. Brunson appeared in 81 career postseason contests, including a league-record 34 WNBA Finals games, registering playoff averages of 8.4 ppg (on 44.7% shooting), 7.0 rpg and 1.4 apg. She stands as the league’s all-time leader in postseason wins, racking up 57 career victories.
Acquired by the Lynx in the dispersal draft of former Sacramento players on Dec. 14, 2009, she retires as the WNBA’s all-time leader in total rebounds (3,356) and offensive rebounds (1,166) while ranking sixth in both defensive rebounds (2,190) and double-doubles (82). She shares Minnesota’s single-game franchise records for total rebounds (20) and offensive rebounds (10) while her career-best point total of 32 came in a Sacramento uniform. Her résumé includes five All-Star Game appearances, 11 playoff appearances and eight trips to the WNBA Finals. Brunson was named to the WNBA All-Defensive First Team in 2011 and was a six-time All-Defensive Second Team selection (2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2018).
Brunson has been a mainstay in the Twin Cities community during her time with Lynx. She plays an active role as an analyst for Fox Sports North’s coverage of the Minnesota Timberwolves, she’s opened her own business, Sweet Gypsy Waffles, with her wife Bobbi, and continues to give back to the organization during Timberwolves and Lynx Basketball Academy clinics, bookmobile stops and more.