Sue Bird is an American professional basketball player presently affiliated with the Seattle Storm of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She has been a member of the Seattle Storm’s three different WNBA-championship-winning squads. A native of New York, Sue Bird is an Israeli citizen through her father. However, she plays for her birth country at the international level and has won four Olympic gold medals and four FIBA World Cups as part of the US national team. Her interest in sports developed early. Besides basketball, she was involved in soccer, tennis, and track and field. She represented Syosset High School during her freshman and sophomore years and then transferred to Christ the King Regional High School, so she could have more competition. Sue Bird subsequently attended the University of Connecticut and was part of their basketball program, the UConn Huskies, winning two NCAA Championships with them. During the 2002 WNBA draft, she was chosen by the Storm as their first overall pick and has been with them since. She was also affiliated with three Russian teams and serves as the operations associate for the Denver Nuggets.
Childhood & Early Life
Born on October 16, 1980, in Syosset, Nassau County, New York on Long Island, Sue Bird is the younger of the two daughters of Herschel and Nancy Bird. Her elder sister’s name is Jen. Sue Bird's father is a Ukrainian Jew.
From her childhood, Sue Bird was interested in sports like basketball, soccer, tennis, and track and field. It was not long before she started demonstrating her prodigious skills in basketball. When she was in the sixth grade, she began taking part in AAU basketball games.
Sue Bird studied at Syosset High School during her freshman and sophomore years and played for its team. Wanting more competition, she joined Christ the King Regional High School, where she was extremely productive during her three-year tenure, winning the New York State Player of the Year and the New York Daily News Player of the Year. She was also hailed as a WBCA All American.
After graduating from high school, she enrolled at the University of Connecticut in 1998 and played for their team, the UConn Huskies. During the four years she spent there, she led the Huskies to two NCAA championship (2000, 2002) wins and received several accolades including three Nancy Lieberman Awards (2000, 2001, and 2002), Naismith College Player of the Year (2002), and USBWA Women's National Player of the Year (2002).
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Sue Bird was selected by the Seattle Storm as their first overall pick during the 2002 WNBA draft. In her rookie season, she appeared in 32 games, starting all of them, and scored 14.4 points per game. Seattle Storm made it to the Playoffs that year but were defeated by the Los Angeles Sparks in the Conference Semi-Finals. Bird played in both of the Storm’s matches against the Sparks, registering 14 points per game.
She won her inaugural WNBA championship with the Storm in 2004. During the regular seasons, she played 34 games, starting all of them and registering 12.9 points per game. In the Playoffs, she started all of the Storm’s eight games, scoring 8.5 points per game.
She has been a member of two more WNBA-championship-winning Seattle Storm roster (2010 and 2018). Over the course of her career, Bird has been named WNBA All-Star 11 times (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018), WNBA assists leader three times (2005, 2009, and 2016), and WNBA peak performer twice (2009 and 2016), She is also the WNBA all-time assists leader.
In the first week of the 2019 season, Sue Bird had a left-knee surgery and has been sidelined for the unforeseeable future. Besides the Seattle Storm, Sue Bird has played for the Russian teams Dynamo Moscow (2004-06), Spartak Moscow Region (2006-11), and UMMC Ekaterinburg (2011-14).
She has won Russian National League (five times (2007, 2008, 2012–2014), EuroLeague five times (2007–2010, 2013), and Europe SuperCup twice (2009 and 2010).
Sue Bird has been a member of the US national team since 2000. Even in her first tournament, the 2000 Jones Cup in Taipei, she played an instrumental role in her team’s gold-medal-winning campaign. In 2002, she won her first FIBA World Cup gold medal in China.
The US lost in the semi-finals of the 2006 Brazil World Cup, finishing the competition with a bronze-medal-winning performance. However, they won the three consecutive World Cups after that, 2010 Czech Republic, 2014 Turkey, and 2018 Spain, with Sue Bird outperforming most of her teammates.
She made her Olympic debut in 2004 in Athens. The US went on to win the gold medal that year and has won the same at three subsequent Olympic Games, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, and 2016 Rio de Janeiro.
Family & Personal Life
Sue Bird is in a relationship with US soccer star Megan Rapinoe. In an interview with the ESPN on July 20, 2017, she revealed that she was a lesbian and spoke about her relationship with Rapinoe.