Unlike NBA players retirement after basketball is not your typical retirement for WNBA players. It’s not filled with charity golf tournaments and vacations to exotic destinations or lounging around the house spending time with family and friends. For most professional women basketball players, life after retirement marks the beginning of your second career. Although the living made by basketball is significant most players venture off into other worlds once they hang up their shoes. Many stay close to whats near to them and thats sports. Whether it be coaching, commentating, or training, many former professional athletes are still working in the athletic department. WomensBasketball247 caught up with Armintie Price Herrington who recently announced her retirement after nine seasons in the WNBA to talk about life after basketball.
Price, who is now married and goes by the name Armintie Herrington, played collegiately at the University of Mississippi and was drafted third overall in the 2007 WNBA draft to the Chicago Sky. She was named the 2007 rookie of the year and during her time in the league Armintie also played for the Atlanta Dream, LA Sparks and the Washington Mystics. Armintie was a late bloomer to basketball being introduced to the sport in the 8th grade and the WNBA wasn’t on her radar until her junior year of college. She grew up wanting to be a teacher. A fourth grade teacher to be exact. But in her senior year of college where she was named 2007 SEC Defensive Player of the Year for the second time she became well known in the basketball community. Her quickness, defensive skills and tenacious play stood out and it was then that the WNBA took notice and drafted her in the top five of the 2007 draft. Armintie says that “the wnba was a blessing as was just having the talent to play the game. She “didn’t expect to go 3rd [but] was just grateful to be apart (of the WNBA) and thought of so highly.” A humble player and known to have a positive and loving spirit she always garnered respect from her opponents. But during the the 2015 WNBA season she felt it was her time to leave this part of the game.
A lot of players find it very challenging to make the decision of when to retire. You’ve spent so much time being a basketball player and accustomed to the routine that comes with it. Luckily for WNBA players the league requires everyone but foreign players to either have graduated from a four-year university, used all of their college eligibility, or be at least 22 years old which comes in handy when its time to enter the “real world.” Armintie said that “she prayed to God to go at least 5 seasons in the wnba,” but ended up playing nine which is well above the said to be average of three years. There comes a time in everyone’s career where you just know and for Armintie that time came this summer after all star break. She says she knew she was ready to retire because “for the first time I missed home life and time with my family and church. [I] felt I was really missing out on what was really becoming important in my life.” She then decided to make the announcement at the end of the 2015 WNBA season.
During last year’s off season Armintie did tv and radio for her alma matter Ole Miss. It was her plan to continue to do this once she retired. She said she was nervous about 2 years ago when thinking about what she would do but after this season she wasn’t nervous at all and declared that “God has given me peace and I am really happy and relaxed.” Armintie says that so far the transition has been easy because she’s doing the same thing she did when she finished her season last year. “Right now it just feel like I am in my offseason from basketball.” Armintie wants to get back into coaching when the right situation presents itself but right now she says she is “just focused on starting a family and will wait for God to do what he does best for me which is always make a way.” She gives some great advice to those approaching retirement to just go with your gut feeling. “Have some ideas in your head of what you think you want to do. Make some calls during your off season or wnba season… Make calls to who u think will be able to help you so when it’s time for you to walk away you have been networking and will have some sense of direction to what doors will be opening for you!” The league will certainly miss having Armintie around but its encouraging to see how the WNBA builds young women into becoming successful adults in the world. The dedication, team work, commitment and overall character building that athletes develop will be an asset to any company in the future.