Basketball star Candice Wiggins, an 8-year pro in the WNBA from 2008-2015, has retired at 29 to pursue a beach volleyball career.
‘I think I’m going to do the Wilt Chamberlain and go to volleyball,” Wiggins told the Brown and Scoop radio show in Canada. “I played a lot of volleyball. In high school, I got to the point where I was probably playing more volleyball than I was playing basketball…playing on the club team, one of the top teams in the country. I was the top recruit. I got a scholarship at Stanford for volleyball as well as basketball. Volleyball has always been my side chick. I still have unfinished business with volleyball. I’d like to pursue that.”
Wiggins called her experience in the WNBA “toxic” and says that she was a victim of bullying in her 8 year career. She says that the beach volleyball culture is really what she’s after and is a draw to her, talking about the “celebration of women and the female body as feminine, but strong and athletic.”
As a basketball player, Wiggins played at Stanford (who coincidentally are the most recent NCAA women’s volleyball champions) and as a senior was named the 2008 Pac-10 Player of thee Year, Wade Trophy Player of the Year, Lowe’s Senior Class Award Winner, First Team AP All-American, among a laundry-list of other career honors. In her first year in the WNBA in 2008, she was given the Sixth Woman of the Year Award as the best player in the league who wasn’t a starter, and she eventually would win a WNBA championship with the Minnesota Lynx in 2011.
Coming out of high school, she was equally as regarded as a volleyball player, as alluded to above. She was named First Team All-CIF (all-state) in California in 2002, 2003, and 2004 in volleyball and was offered scholarships to Stanford in both basketball and volleyball.
Wiggins is 5’11” tall and has begun working out with her former club volleyball coach.
Her allusion to former Hall of Fame NBA basketball player Wilt Chamberlain, who once scored a record 100 points in an NBA game, is from when he played professionally in the short-lived International Volleyball Association. He was the president of his team and was enshrined in the IVA Hall of Fame