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Thursday, May 31, 2007
Mystics forward Robinson retires, will join coaching staff

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Washington Mystics forward Crystal Robinson retired Thursday and will join the WNBA team's coaching staff.

Robinson, who is from Atoka, Okla., signed with the Mystics last year after seven seasons with the New York Liberty. She previously played in the American Basketball League.

"She is almost like family to me," Mystics coach Richie Adubato said. "She is a great defender and a clutch shooter. 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."

Robinson, 33, had only two points and two rebounds this season. Last season she averaged 7.4 points and 2.6 rebounds.

During her WNBA career, she averaged 10.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. She scored a career-high 27 points against Phoenix on Aug. 6, 1999.

Robinson, considered one of the best female basketball players in Oklahoma history, led Atoka to the 1992 Class 3A high school state title, averaging 43.7 points per game and earning consensus state player of the year honors as a senior. She signed to play college ball at Louisiana Tech, but left the traditional NCAA Division I power after less than a year and transferred to Southeastern Oklahoma State, which then was a member of the NAIA.

The 5-foot-11 forward led the Durant school to the NAIA Division I title game in 1995 and 1996, both times losing by one point to in-state rival Southern Nazarene. The three-time first-team All-America selection was named the 1996 NAIA player of the year.

She scored 60 points in a Jan. 10, 1996 win over in-state rival East Central, which then was the second-highest total in NAIA Division I history. It remains the record for the most points ever scored in a game by a women's player at an Oklahoma college.

Robinson also was named as the women's basketball most valuable player of U.S. Olympic Festival-1993.