Feb 18 (Reuters) – Diana Taurasi, the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, has signed a multi-year contract to remain with the Phoenix Mercury, the team said on Saturday.
The deal means the 40-year-old Taurasi, a three-time WNBA champion whose name is all over the Mercury franchise’s record book, will play at least a 19th season in the league in 2023.
“Diana Taurasi belongs in a Mercury uniform, and we are grateful for the continued faith she demonstrates in our organization by returning year after year,” Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman said in a news release.
The contract also means Taurasi could play again with Brittney Griner, who was released from a Russian penal colony last year as part of a prisoner swap and has since said she plans to return to the Mercury.
Taurasi, whom the Mercury selected first overall in the 2004 WNBA Draft, holds franchise records — either outright or shared — in 16 categories, including seasons, points scored, defensive rebounds, assists and steals.
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A five-time Olympic champion, Taurasi averaged 16.7 points, 3.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds during the 2022 season.
Taurasi added another accolade to her resume last July when she joined NBA greats Michael Jordan and Dirk Nowitzki as the only players in WNBA/NBA history aged 40 or over to record a 30-point game.
“The way she prepares her body, how much she cares about winning, and how much she cares about our franchise — on and off the court — are just a few of the things that make her a transcendent athlete and quite literally the greatest of all time,” said Pitman.
“We look forward to more accolades, more historic moments, and more wins.”
The 2023 WNBA regular season is scheduled to tip off on May 19.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; editing by Clare Fallon
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