6-2-07 -- Washington Mystics General Manager, Linda Hargrove announced forward Crystal Robinson has retired and will be a member of the team's coaching staff.
Robinson, a three-time NAIA All-American and 1996 National Player of the Year for Southeastern Oklahoma State, had an illustrious career with the New York Liberty that spanned seven years prior to joining the Mystics last season.
"Crystal has had an unbelievable professional career both in the ABL and the WNBA as well as numerous international teams," said Hargrove. "She has a great understanding of the game and should have a smooth transition to the coaching seat."
Before becoming the sixth ever pick by the WNBA in 1999, Robinson, a native of Atoka, Okla., earned Rookie of the Year honors in the first of her two seasons with the Colorado Explosion of the now-defunct American Basketball League.
Robinson joined the New York Liberty in 1999 and helped lead the team to five playoff berths. As a member of the Liberty, Robinson averaged 10.7 points per game, 2.7 rebounds per game and 2.0 assists per game. During the Liberty's playoff runs, she averaged 10.2 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per game.
"I feel that this is the right time for me and a great move for me professionally," Robinson said. "I am looking forward to joining the coaching staff and beginning the next chapter of my basketball career."
Over her four years at Southeastern (1992-96), Robinson averaged 27.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per contest, both SOSU career records, over her 112-game career. Throughout that span, the Lady Savages boasted a 90-22 overall record including a 35-2 record during the 1995-96 season when SOSU claimed its only Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference regular-season title. Robinson was a four-time First-Team All-OIC selection and was selected as OIC Player-of-the-Ye ar after the 1994, 1995 and 1996 seasons.
Affectionately known as "C-Rob" during her playing days at Southeastern Oklahoma State, she left as the school's all-time leader in points (3,023), assists (547), rebounds (1,165), steals (376) and blocked shots (171).
Robinson, was named the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship Most Valuable Player in 1995 and 1996 after leading the Lady Savages to back-to-back runner-up finishes. She earned first-team NAIA All-America recognition in 1994, 1995 and 1996, and led NAIA Division I in scoring in 1994 and 1995.
Robinson, who also became the third women's basketball player to earn induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2002, moves to the next chapter of her illustrious career.
"Crystal is a player that played for me in New York and Washington. She is almost like family to me. She is a great defender and a clutch shooter," said Adubato. "This year she has had some nagging injuries and felt that it was time. She is going to be an asset to me on the bench as she has been a coach on the floor. I wish her the best in her chosen new career."
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