Renee Montgomery, who played over a decade in the WNBA before sitting out the 2020 campaign to devote herself to social justice reform, announced her retirement on Tuesday.
"I've always wondered what my 'Dear Basketball' moment was going to be like," the 34-year-old said in an Instagram video, referring to Kobe Bryant's Oscar-winning short film. "And now that it's here, I'm a little bit nervous, speechless, but I want to just start by saying I'm retiring from the WNBA, and I enjoyed all 11 years of it."
The Minnesota Lynx's No. 4 pick in 2009, Montgomery averaged 9.7 points, 3.1 assists, 1.7 rebounds, and a steal per game throughout a career that also included stints with the Connecticut Sun, Seattle Storm, and most recently, the Atlanta Dream.
As a senior at Connecticut, Montgomery played a foundational role alongside fellow future WNBA standouts Maya Moore, Tina Charles, and Tiffany Hayes while leading the Huskies to the 2009 national title.
The 5-foot-7 guard continued to enjoy success after turning pro, becoming an All-Star selection in 2011, being named the Sixth Woman of the Year in 2012, and winning a pair of titles with the Lynx in 2015 and 2017.
More recently, however, her activities away from the court have defined Montgomery's presence in the sport.
During a turbulent summer and fall leading up to the 2020 election in the United States, Montgomery became one of the most visible activists among athletes, at times publicly chastising Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler, a Republican senator seeking reelection in Georgia.
Regarding Loeffler's staunch opposition to the Blake Lives Matter movement, Montgomery implored her team's co-owner to not "end up on the wrong side of history."
Democratic challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated Loeffler in January's Georgia Senate special election runoff. Some outlets partly credited the victory to the highly visible campaigning from Montgomery, her Dream teammates, and WNBA players.
Loeffler is now in the process of selling her stake in the Dream, a WNBA spokesperson revealed last month.
Montgomery currently serves as a studio analyst for Atlanta Hawks broadcasts on FOX Sports Southeast. She also became a part-owner of Marshawn Lynch's franchise in the FCF, an upstart football league.