All-time Leading Scorer Katie Smith Retiring Exactly The Way She Wants

For her birthday this June, her Liberty teammates gave her a walking cane. “I think I’m ready,” Smith says. “I’ve been lucky and blessed to be able to say, ‘Hey, I’m done,’ and not be forced out. I’m ready to be done.” As for what is driving her out, she said it’s more the cerebral aspects of the game than physical weariness. “The mental side of it, being having to perform and show up and be engaged,” she says, “that’s more fatiguing even than the physical stuff.” That doesn’t mean there won’t come a time when Smith will want to play again. Old habits, as basketball certainly is for her, don’t just leave the system easily. She knows a desire to play again is inevitable, especially with her plans to still be around the game. When the time comes that Smith starts trying to convince herself to return to the court, she has her counterarguments prepared, mental reminders of the aches and pains that basketball issues on her body — pains that won’t get any easier given that she’ll be nearly 40 by the time the next WNBA season begins. Now, as her career reaches its twilight, she’s left with the memories of 29 years of basketball — the WNBA and ABL titles and accolades; the three Olympic gold medals; all the way back to her first basketball team, an all-boys team she played on with her brother in fifth grade called the Bobcats. “It was just playing with all my buds on a boys team going shirts and skins, and I always was shirts,” Smith says. “They’re just your friends.” And even as basketball switched from a recreational activity with friends to a profession, the joy for the game never wavered.

Fox ending Smith’s nightly newscast

“We don’t have to wait ’til 7 anymore,” said Smith, named managing editor of the breaking news unit. “When it’s ready, we’ll put it on the air. When it’s breaking, I’m ready to do it.” Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes described Smith’s new role as a quarterback able to call an audible when news is happening and get it on the air quickly. Except for Smith’s show and Bret Baier’s Washington report, Fox’s evening schedule is driven by opinionated, personality-driven programming. Fox is building a new studio, calling it the “Fox News Deck,” for Smith to operate. The changes are likely to take place in October. “This is the way news should be presented in today’s world with the equipment and the amount of technology that is available,” Ailes said. “We’re making a major investment in journalism here and it’s going to require journalists to be better.” The changes are among several taking place at Fox, the top-rated cable news network and the one with the most personnel stability. This summer, Fox said that Megyn Kelly would move into the network’s prime-time lineup when she returns from maternity leave, but hasn’t said where she will go and who she will displace. Ailes would not comment on published reports that Sean Hannity would move to 7 p.m. to make room for Kelly.