Beard Cements Legacy as One of the Greatest Defenders in League History
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Sparks guard/forward Alana Beard has retired from the WNBA after 15 historic seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks and Washington Mystics. Beard’s storied career was filled with accolades, including winning back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year Awards in 2017 and 2018. In 2016, she helped the Sparks capture their third WNBA title. She finishes her career third all-time in steals in WNBA history with 710.
“On behalf of the entire Sparks family I’d like to thank Alana Beard for her historic contributions to our organization and the WNBA,” Sparks Managing Partner and Governor Eric Holoman said. “Not only does Alana leave the WNBA as a champion and one of the best defenders in the league’s history, she leaves as one of the greatest teammates and professionals the WNBA has ever seen. Alana will forever be a Spark and we’ll continue to support her and be a resource as she enters the next stage of her life and career.”
Beard earned nine WNBA All-Defensive Team selections, including five First Team honors (2007, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018) and four Second Team (2005, 2006, 2009, 2014) honors. She was named to the WNBA All-Star team four times (2005-2007, 2009).
“I am so grateful for the many years I’ve been able to play the game I love, for the amazing players I’ve had the opportunity to play with and compete against, and for the tremendous fans I’ve been lucky enough to play in front of,” Beard said. “I am excited for my next chapter and ready to pursue my next career. I look forward to using my platform to create opportunities for the communities that supported me throughout my journey, women and people of color.”
For her career, Beard averaged 11.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game, while shooting 43.5% from the field. Beard played in 419 regular season games, starting 402, and made 42 playoff appearances.
Beard was drafted second overall in the 2004 WNBA Draft by the Mystics. She attended Duke University where she became the first NCAA player to score 2,600 points, dish out 500 assists and record 400 steals. Beard is from Shreveport, Louisiana.