On Monday morning, the WNBA premiered their new online series, “Revealed”, and Seattle Storm superstar Sue Bird was the star of the first installment. In this FANTASTIC episode, she openly talks about growing up on Long Island, playing for Coach Geno Auriemma in UConn, and her humbling first few seasons as a newbie in Seattle. The episode was filmed at her alma mater, Christ the King HS in Queens, NY, and is full of never-before-seen footage dating back to her HS days. Chock-full of great quotes and moments, there were a few things that stuck out to me as I watched this:
1) Her older sister was her biggest influence and the reason she picked up a basketball.
Sue admired her older sister (5 yrs older) and wanted to be like her, like most of us do with our older siblings. As she says “Luckily for me, she picked up a basketball.” Thanks big sis!
2) She only attended Christ the King HS for two years after transferring from Syosset HS
She became familiar with Christ the King, their players, and staff through her AAU team, “The Liberty Bells” who were closely affiliated with the HS. After attending high school on Long Island for 2 years, she joined the elite program at Christ the King.
3) She almost attended Vanderbilt
Sue’s top 3 college choices were Stanford, Vanderbilt, and UConn. When speaking to Coach Auriemma prior to her decision, she expressed to him that her heart was telling her to go to UConn, but her head was saying Vanderbilt. His response? “Welp. I hope you follow your heart.”…..and hung up.
4) Her first few seasons in Seattle was difficult
Sue is very transparent about some of the challenges she faced after being drafted #1 overall to the Seattle Storm in 2002. Going from a winning culture and record in UConn to Seattle’s struggling team was hard, and the feelings that come with losing were ones she had to overcome quickly to be successful. She also didn’t get along too well with teammate Lauren Jackson, who was the #1 pick the year prior, despite the fact that they were sight to behold on-the-court together. However, after a few seasons, their off-court bond began to mimic their on-court chemistry, becoming great teammates and close friends.
Now sit back and enjoy this great 11-minute episode!