May 02, 2004

Comets G Cooper retires again after re-injuring shoulder

Houston Comets guard Cynthia Cooper, one of the best players in WNBA history, retired Saturday due to a recurring shoulder injury.

The two-time league MVP and three-time scoring champion separated her surgically repaired right shoulder and re-injured the rotator cuff tendon in a recent practice.

After discussing the matter with the team's medical staff, she thought it was best to retire.

"I don't want to continue going on and off the injured list because that would hurt the team," the 41-year-old said. "This is the best for everyone - my family and the team. It's the right time to move on with my career off the court."

Cooper, who led the Comets to the first four titles in WNBA history, underwent season-ending surgery to the torn rotator cuff in June.

The Southern California product returned to the Comets on April 29, 2003 after compiling a 19-23 record in 1 1/2 seasons as coach of the Phoenix Mercury.

Cooper averaged 16.0 points per game before going down last season. In her first four years, she averaged 21.1 points, 4.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 120 games over four seasons and was an All-WNBA First Team selection each year.

Cooper won MVP honors in 1997 and 1998 to go with scoring titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

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