May 3, 2023
WNBA champion, Connecticut great Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis to retire
Standout career also included USA Basketball triumphs
Former WNBA Champion and UConn alum Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis will retire from playing professional basketball, her overseas club La Roche Vendee BC announced on Instagram. Mosqueda-Lewis played for the Seattle Storm and Connecticut Sun throughout her career in the WNBA for five seasons as a forward.
“Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis has decided to end her career at the end of this season,” La Roche Vendee BC said on its Instagram post in French. “Thanks for everything, thanks for the basketball, LEGEND.”
During her time at Mater Dei High School, Mosqueda-Lewis was recognized with numerous accolades for her performance. Her talent in three-point shooting and scoring has earned her several program records, including 337 three-pointers made, 2,744 points scored, and 876 rebounds. She committed to play for the Connecticut Huskies in her sophomore year of high school after a visit to the campus.
From 2009 to 2011, Mosqueda-Lewis led the Monarchs to three successive Southern Section titles. In her senior season, she earned three National Player of the Year accolades from Gatorade, ESPN, and Naismith.
In a story by ESPN’s Hoopgurlz, Mosqueda-Lewis described her motivation to become the top prospect of the 2011 class and how she gave credit to Ali, her grandfather, for continuing to build onto her success. When she was nine years old, she was disappointed she didn’t see her name on the recreation league all-star basketball team.
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Mosqueda-Lewis won three consecutive national championships from 2013 to 2015 with Connecticut. She received Big East Freshman of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year honors in her freshman season.
Mosqueda-Lewis had a breakout season in her sophomore year, averaging 17.6 points and 6.3 rebounds on 53 percent shooting. She also led the team in plus/minus with +26.5 and received All-NCAA Tournament and All-Bridgeport Regional Team honors.
In her senior season, Mosqueda-Lewis set the record for three-pointers made in NCAA Division I with 398, topping Laurie Koehn and Heather Butler’s prior record of 392. She also made 121 three-pointers (a career-high), won her third consecutive national championship, averaging 14.9 points and 4.2 rebounds.
Mosqueda-Lewis was selected third overall by the Seattle Storm in the 2015 WNBA Draft. She became a WNBA champion in 2018 when Seattle swept the Washington Mystics in three games.
In 2020, Mosqueda-Lewis was traded to the Connecticut Sun after playing for the Seattle Storm for five seasons. The Sun finished with a 10-12 record and clinched the no. 7 seed in the 2020 WNBA playoffs, which they fell to the Las Vegas Aces in the semifinals. Mosqueda-Lewis played in 157 career games and averaged 5.1 points and 1.1 rebounds.
Mosqueda-Lewis has a remarkable record of representing Team USA Basketball and earning four gold medals. She made history as a member of the inaugural U16 team for USA Basketball in 2009, playing in Mexico City and leading her team to an unbeaten record, which earned them an automatic qualification for the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship. Her performance included an average of 14 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
In the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship tournament in France, Mosqueda-Lewis led Team USA to another undefeated record and a gold medal. In the U19 World Championship games in Chile, Mosqueda-Lewis was chosen to represent the U19 team and clinched her third gold medal with USA Basketball.
Mosqueda-Lewis also represented Team USA in the 2013 University Games in Kazan, Russia, and won her fourth and final gold medal after averaging 13 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Written by Aya Abdeen
Aya Abdeen is a student in sports journalism at Arizona State University and has been a contributing writer for The Next Hoops since December 2022. Her work has also appeared on AZPreps365.