INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Charlotte Smith, an eight-year WNBA veteran who played last season with the Indiana Fever, retired Thursday.
Smith, who averaged 6 points per game, played six years with the Charlotte Sting and one with the Washington Mystics before signing with Indiana last February.
``It was one of life's most difficult decisions, walking away from something you have known almost all your life,'' said Smith, who will remain an assistant coach at North Carolina, the school she led to the NCAA title as a junior in 1994.
``Not only is it difficult but it can present itself to be scary at times. I am blessed to have been part of the UNC women's basketball staff for five years, so it makes the transition a lot easier.''
Smith played 18 games for Indiana last season but was slowed by injuries and averaged just 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds, both career lows.
``Many people have tried to convince me otherwise because they felt that 'I still have it,' and to a certain extent I can agree with them,'' she said. ``But I know that I am ready for the next phase of my life.''
In 1994, the 6-foot Smith became just the second women's college player known to dunk in a game. She later played two-plus seasons in the American Basketball League and was the 33rd pick in the 1999 WNBA draft by Charlotte.