Sue Bird: Seattle’s daughter

Sue Bird has been a Seattle sports icon since 2002, and one of the few professional sports players to ever bring a national championship to the Emerald City.

Before joining the Storm, Sue was fresh off being a dominant force in college basketball, bringing a pair of national championships with the University of Connecticut Huskies, where she ended her collegiate career with 1378 points and 491 field goals. Her senior year was certainly her best, when she posted personal highs in every major basketball stat recorded. She hit 98 of 104 free-throw shots, and scored over 550 points to lead her team, averaging over 14 per game.

Bird broke onto the WNBA scene in 2002 as the very first pick in the WNBA draft, the year after her teammate Lauren Jackson was drafted first overall in 2001.

She wasted no time leaving her mark on professional women’s basketball. The Storm made the playoffs for the first time thanks to a stellar performance by Bird and her great one-two pairing with Jackson.

As a star for the Storm, Sue Bird has been to four WNBA all star games and was named in the all-WNBA first team four years in a row, including her rookie tenure in 2002.

In 2004, Sue Bird started every game and scored second most on the team while averaging over five assists per game, by far the team high. Many of those assists were with Jackson, who led the team that year with an average of 20 points per game. One of the most popular promotions in Seattle history was the yellow bandage-tape everyone wore across their nostrils for game 2 of the WNBA finals that year, in honor of the broken nose Bird played with for the season.

Seven years into Bird’s professional career, she has put up impressive career stats. Except for 2007 she has played in at least 30 games every year, and has never scored fewer than 300 points in a season, adding up to almost 3,000 points. In addition, her assist rates are through the roof, with over 1,200 in her career and a high of 221 in a season.

On top of all her other successes playing in the WNBA and NCAA, Bird also has a pair of Gold Medals. She joined the United States Olympic Teams in both 2004 and 2008 and helped lead the teams to championships on the world stage, unlike her male counterparts.

While the Storm have had a tough time generating post-season success as of late— the team has had first round exits in the last four seasons— there is little question that the Storm are among the elite teams in the league, and have created a dynasty on the back of Bird.

With the Sonics gone and playing in Oklahoma, Bird and fellow Storm member Jackson are the toast of basketball in Seattle. B-ball junkies can still get their hoops fix at the Key-Arena, just with a little more X -chromosome.