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4-time NBA All-Star, NCAA champion Kemba Walker announces his retirement from basketball

4-time NBA All-Star, NCAA champion Kemba Walker announces his retirement from basketball

Kemba Walker made four NBA All-Star teams and was the Most Outstanding Player on UConn’s 2011 national title team. (Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

Kemba Walker is retiring from basketball.

A four-time NBA All-Star and a national champion at UConn, Walker announced his decision to step away from the game on Tuesday at 34 years old.

Walker played 12 NBA seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks. He spent his last season as a pro playing for the EuroLeague's AS Monaco. Now he's moving on to the next chapter.

“I’m here to share that I am officially retiring from basketball,” Walker wrote in his retirement announcement. “This has all been a dream. When I look back, I still can’t believe the things I achieved in my career. …

“Basketball will forever be a part of my life so this isn’t goodbye. I’m excited for what’s next.”

Walker will join the Hornets' coaching staff as a player enhancement coach, per The Athletic's Shams Charania, rejoining the team where he spent the first eight years of his career.

At his best, Walker was one of the game's best scoring point guards. A five-star recruit out of high school, Walker delivered on his promise in three seasons at UConn. He earned consensus All-America honors as a junior and led UConn to a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Huskies defeated Kentucky and Butler after advancing to the Final Four to secure the program's third national championship.

He joined the then-Charlotte Bobcats as the No. 9 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He helped lead Charlotte to two playoff appearances and made three All-Star teams in eight seasons with the franchise.

The Hornets traded Walker to the Boston Celtics ahead of the 2019-20 season. Walker made another All-Star team in his first year in Boston and went on to play three more NBA seasons. A lingering knee injury that required three surgeries throughout his career limited him to nine games in his final NBA season with the Dallas Mavericks. He played limited minutes with Monaco last season and is now calling it a career.

In 12 NBA seasons, Walker averaged 19.3 points, 5.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. He shot 41.8% from the field and 36% from 3-point distance. At his peak, he averaged 25.6 points and 5.9 assists per game in his final season in Charlotte.

He leaves a basketball legacy as a UConn great and the face of the revival of the Hornets from the Bobcats after the NBA's return to Charlotte. He retires as the Hornets' all-time leading scorer.

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