Basketball star Megan Mahoney retires

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) -- She's calling it a career.

Star local basketball player retires from international competition.

One of Western South Dakota's greatest female athletes is retiring from basketball after a fourteen season international career and a two year stint in the WNBA.

Peidmont's own Megan Mahoney is hanging up her sneakers.

She was a phenom as a seventh grader.

Just ask her high school coach about the first time he saw her play when he was reffing a middle school game.

"I literally stood at the other end and probably stared at her, like, unbelievable," said Mike Friedel describing a sequence where Mahoney grabbed a rebound, dribbled the length of the court and scored with a perfect finger-roll lay up. "I didn't have a kid at the high school level that could do what she was doing like that as smooth and graceful as she was."

Mahoney went on the start for Friendel for the Sturgis Scoopers high school varsity as an eighth grader and.

"She is by far the most competitive person that I have ever been around," said Fridel.

Mahoney went on to win a Big 12 title at Kansas State University and then spend two years in the WNBA and 14 professional seasons in Europe. But then injuries started to nag her.

"I was in Belgium last fall ready to start a season and I tore a tendon in my foot and I had to have surgery," she said. I had to be our six to eight months rehabbing. So that was kind of the final push to put me over to retiring."

She was inducted into the South Dakota Basketball Hall of Fame in March and is now formally retired.

"When I was in high school I never dreamed -- I never imagined -- that it was even possible to travel the world playing basketball," she said. "It's taken me all over the world I have friends from all over the place and I've seen some really cool things and done some really cool things. But it was just kind of time (to retire)."

Friedel said the Mahoney's exploits on the court were not the whole story -- by long shot.

"Everybody asked, 'What was it like coaching her?' " he said. "Everybody knew her talent because you could see that. But I said, 'You know what? She's that good but she's twice the person.'"

And what's next for the star athlete?

"I've already had a few people ask if I would play on their rec league tea," she said with a smile. "So when I get healed up with this foot and I've got a knee (to worry about, too), yeah, maybe I'll try to slip back in incognito."