It’s not the entire Seattle Storm team, because that would just be wishful thinking. But Seattle is definitely going to be represented in the Olympics this August in Rio. We have not one but TWO women from the Storm playing on the Olympic team this year! Both Sue Bird and Breanna Steward were selected to play on the team. Another cool part is that the newest Storm player, Stewie, actually first saw Bird play basketball during the summer Olympic games in 2008, and now she will be playing alongside her this year. We almost had a third player on the Olympic team this year, but sadly Jewell Loyd did not make the cut.
It is also no surprise to see Bird back on the team after taking the United States to so many gold medals in the past. Bird has gold on her mind again this round and Stewie is not far behind. Will Stewie give both the Storm and the US team a greater edge? Head Coach Jenny Boucek thinks so. Boucek called Stewie a game-changer, saying, “She impacts the game in a lot of ways. There are some players who have the potential to impact or enhance a team in multiple ways. And she is one of those players.”
Stewart acknowledges the high expectations that her fans have for her and confirms that she, too, has these same expectations. “This is what you play the game for; it's not all supposed to be easy,” she said. Boucek also says that Bird seems to be even more fired up right now with so many youthful players on the team. During training, she say that the team is following Bird’s lead and she is more focused than ever, which sounds like it’s gearing up to be a pretty exciting season. Indeed, Bird called the youthful players “sponges” and said that it was good to have them on the team for their energy and excitement about the game.
Are you excited to see both Bird and Stewart in the Olympics this summer? After missing two playoff series and having a pretty shaky season last year overall, it’s really time for the Storm to have top spot again in the WNBA. With Stewie as their first draft pick and the WNBA celebrating its 20th anniversary, maybe luck is already in their favor. Combined with their skill and power, it should help them propel forward to win big this season.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia