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Sue Bird

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Title: Sue Bird  
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Subject: Nancy Lieberman Award, Lauren Jackson, Tina Charles (basketball), 2010 WNBA Finals, 2009 WNBA season
Collection: 1980 Births, American Christians, American Emigrants to Israel, American People of Russian-Jewish Descent, American Women's Basketball Players, Basketball Players at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Basketball Players at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Basketball Players at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Basketball Players from New York, Christians of Jewish Descent, Connecticut Huskies Women's Basketball Players, Israeli Christians, Israeli People of Russian-Jewish Descent, Israeli Women's Basketball Players, Living People, Medalists at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Medalists at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Medalists at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Naturalized Citizens of Israel, Olympic Basketball Players of the United States, Olympic Gold Medalists for the United States, Olympic Gold Medalists for the United States in Basketball, Olympic Medalists in Basketball, People from Syosset, New York, Point Guards, Seattle Storm Players, University of Connecticut Alumni, Women's National Basketball Association First Overall Draft Picks
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Sue Bird

Sue Bird
Sue Bird in 2012
WNBA's Seattle Storm  – No. 10
Born (1980-10-16) October 16, 1980
Syosset, New York
Nationality American/Israeli
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 150 lb (68 kg)
College Connecticut
Draft 1st overall, 2002
Seattle Storm
WNBA career 2002–present
Non-WNBA career 2004–present
WNBA teams
Seattle Storm (2002–present)
Non-WNBA teams
Dynamo Moscow (2004–2006)
Spartak Moscow Region (2006–2011)
UMMC Ekaterinburg (2011–present)
Awards and honors

All-WNBA First Team (2002–2005)

All-WNBA Second Team (2008, 2010, 2011)
WNBA All-Decade Team
WNBA All-Star (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014)
WNBA Champion (2004, 2010)

Suzanne Brigit "Sue" Bird (born October 16, 1980) is an American-Israeli professional women's basketball player for the Seattle Storm and UMMC Ekaterinburg.

In high school, she was the New York State Player of the Year, the New York Daily News Player of the Year, and a WBCA All-American. In her senior year at undefeated UConn in 2002, she won the Wade Trophy and the Naismith Award as College Player of the Year.[1] She finished her UConn career ranked first in three-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage, second in assists and steals, and as a three-time winner of the Nancy Lieberman Award as the top point guard in the nation, while leading her team to a record of 114–4.

The Seattle Storm selected Bird with the first overall pick of the 2002 WNBA Draft, and she has been a seven-time WNBA All-Star. She is one of 9 women to win an Olympic Gold Medal, an NCAA Championship, and a WNBA Championship. In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the WNBA's Top 15 Players of All Time.


  • Early life 1
  • High school 2
  • College 3
  • USA Basketball 4
  • Professional career 5
    • WNBA 5.1
    • International 5.2
  • WNBA career statistics 6
    • Regular season 6.1
    • Postseason 6.2
  • Awards and honors 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Early life

Bird was born on October 16, 1980 in Syosset, Nassau County, New York to Herschel and Nancy Bird. She has an older sister named Jen.[2] Her father is an Italian-born Russian Jew[3][4] and their original last name was "Boorda".[3][5][6][7] As a result she has also held Israeli citizenship since 2006[3] but represents her birth country (the United States) in international competitions.[8] Bird was raised in her mother's Christian religion.[9]

Bird was interested in sports from an early age, which was partly influenced by her athletic older sister.[10] Besides basketball, she played soccer, tennis, and ran track.[11] Sue became a very good player and started playing AAU basketball in the sixth grade. While only 11 years old, she played during halftime of a St. John's basketball game; her play was so impressive that a security guard asked for her autograph.[2]

High school

She played her freshman and sophomore years at Syosset High School, but wanted more competition. She therefore enrolled at Christ the King Regional High School in Queens, New York. Sue spent two seasons at Christ the King, and the Royals went 24–3 her Junior year. In the second season her team finished undefeated and won the New York state championship, and the national title. Bird won many awards, including the New York State Player of the Year, and the New York Daily News Player of the Year. Bird was named a WBCA All-American. She participated in the WBCA High School All-America Game, where she scored 11 points.[12]


Bird was recruited by a number of teams, including Stanford and Vanderbilt. She considered UConn the favorite, but she began to waver when Keirsten Walters and Brianne Stepherson, both point guards, announced commitments to UConn. She worried that there might not be room for her to play. However, Stepherson changed her mind, and decided to go to Boston College, making the decision a bit easier, so Bird committed to UConn.[13] In addition, she chose UConn because it was close to home, and the UConn program had a winning tradition like the one at Christ the King.[10] She suffered a torn ACL eight games into her freshman season. She was not able to redshirt, because she had played in more than 20% of the team's games.[11] In her sophomore season (1999–2000) she came back to lead the team to a 36–1 record and won the Big East Championship and the 2000 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament. The Huskies went 32–3 in her junior season. The last loss was to Big East rival Notre Dame in the Final Four. That was the last loss of Bird's college career, as the Huskies went an undefeated 39–0 in her 2002 senior season. In that season, she won the Wade Trophy and Naismith Award as College Player of the Year.[1]

During her junior year, Bird played in a game against Notre Dame referred to as "the best women's basketball game ever played". The game was memorialized in a book, Bird at the Buzzer, in which Bird took the eponymous shot at the buzzer to win the game.[14]

She finished her UConn career on many of the record lists. She currently ranks No. 24 on the 1,000 point list with 1,378 points, No. 2 in assists with 585, and seventh with 243 steals.[2] She ranks number 1 in three point field goal percentage (45.9) and free throw percentage (89.2).[2] She won two National Championships, three Big East Championships and Big East regular season titles. Bird was the inaugural winner of the Nancy Lieberman Award in 2000, given to the top point guard in the nation, and won the award in 2001 and 2002.[2] Overall her record at UConn in games she played is a remarkable 114–4. Bird was a member of the inaugural class (2006) of inductees to the University of Connecticut women's basketball "Huskies of Honor" recognition program.[15]

Statistics[16] at University of Connecticut
1998–99 8 16 41 0.316 6 19 0.316 3 4 0.750 16 2.0 25 16 1 15 160 41 5.1
1999-00 37 140 279 0.502 72 145 0.497 53 59 0.898 94 2.5 160 80 1 69 1052 405 10.9
2000–01 34 137 309 0.443 60 139 0.432 35 45 0.778 89 2.6 169 88 4 63 941 369 10.9
2001–02 39 198 392 0.505 69 148 0.466 98 104 0.942 131 3.4 231 93 9 96 1168 563 14.4
Totals 118 491 1021 0.481 207 451 0.459 189 212 0.892 330 2.8 585 277 15 243 3321 1378 11.7

USA Basketball

She competed with USA Basketball as a member of the 2000 Jones Cup Team in Taipei. Bird started all four games, and led the team with 17 assists, helping lead the team to the gold medal.[17]

In 2002, Bird was named to the national team which competed in the World Championships in Zhangjiagang, Changzhou and Nanjing, China. The team was coached by Van Chancellor. Bird scored 4.3 points per game. The USA team won all nine games, including a close title game against Russia, which was a one point game late in the game.[18]

In the 2003–2004 off-season, Bird was named to the United States 2004 Women's Olympic Basketball Team's roster.[19] The USA team would go on to win the gold at the games in Athens, Greece.

In 2006, Bird was invited back to the National team for the World Championships held in Sao Paulo, Brazil in September 2006. With the retirements of Lisa Leslie and Dawn Staley and injuries to Sheryl Swoopes, Bird, along with Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi stepped up to leading roles on the national team. The USA team won eight of the nine games they played, but fell against Russia 75–68 in the medal round, so ended up with the bronze medal. Over the nine games, Bird hit 50% of her three point attempts, typing her for accuracy leadership along with Taurasi and Swoopes. Bird led the team with 41 assists.[20]

In the summer of 2008, she was invited back to be on the 2008 Olympic basketball team. The team won the gold medal in Beijing, China. Bird started all eight games, and led the team in steals, with 14.[21]

Bird was invited to the USA Basketball Women's National Team training camp in the fall of 2009.[22] The team selected to play for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics is usually chosen from these participants. At the conclusion of the training camp, the team will travel to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where they compete in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational.[22]

Bird was named as one of the National team members to represent the USA Basketball team in the WNBA versus USA Basketball.[23] This game replaces the normal WNBA All-Star game with WNBA All-Stars versus USA Basketball, as part of the preparation for the FIBA World Championship for Women to be held in the Czech Republic during September and October 2010.[24] Bird was selected to be a member of the National team representing the USA at the World Championships held in September and October 2010. The team was coached by Geno Auriemma. Because many team members were still playing in the WNBA until just prior to the event, the team had only one day of practice with the entire team before leaving for Ostrava and Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Even with limited practice, the team managed to win its first games against Greece by 26 points. The team continued to dominate with victory margins exceeding 20 points in the first five games. Several players shared scoring honors, with Swin Cash, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi, Lindsay Whalen, and Sylvia Fowles all ending as high scorer in the first few games. The sixth game was against undefeated Australia — the USA jumped out to a 24-point lead and the USA prevailed 83–75. The USA won its next two games by over 30 points, then faced the host team, the Czech Republic, in the championship game. The USA team had only a five-point lead at halftime, which was cut to three points, but the Czechs never got closer. Team USA went on to win the championship and gold medal. Bird averaged 5.6 points per game and led the team in assists with 26.[25]

Bird competed for the U.S. in the 2012 Summer Olympics. The Americans won their fifth straight gold medal.[26]

Professional career


Bird during the 2008 playoffs against the LA Sparks

The Seattle Storm selected Bird with the first overall pick of the 2002 WNBA Draft.[2] In her rookie season, Bird started all 32 games for the Storm and averaged 14.4 ppg. She was selected as a starter on the 2002 WNBA Western Conference All-Star team. Bird was the runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award, and one of only two rookies to make the All-WNBA First Team.[2] She also led the Storm to their first playoff appearance. Since her rookie season she has been selected to the Western Conference All Star team. In 2004 Bird helped the Storm win its first WNBA Championship. By winning the WNBA Championship Bird became one of 9 women to receive an Olympic Gold Medal, an NCAA Championship, and a WNBA Championship. The others are Ruth Riley, Sheryl Swoopes, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, and fellow Huskies Swin Cash, Kara Wolters, Diana Taurasi, and following London 2012, Maya Moore & Tamika Catchings. Bird now has two WNBA championships to go along with her two NCAA championships after the Seattle Storm beat the Atlanta Dream for the 2010 WNBA championship.[27] In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in the fifteen-year history of the WNBA.[28]

During the 2012 WNBA season Bird had been having problems with her knee. Because of this she had to have surgery which would prevent her from playing the entire 2013 season with the Storm.


In the 2004–2005 WNBA off-season, she played in Russia, with Storm teammate Kamila Vodichkova on the Dynamo Moscow. In the 2005–2006 WNBA off-season, she played on the same team, reaching the Russian championship and the Euroleague women's playoffs.

In the 2006–2007 WNBA off-season, she joined Storm teammate Lauren Jackson and fellow UConn stars Diana Taurasi and Svetlana Abrosimova on the Russian team Spartak Moscow[29] to win both the Russian Super League and the EuroLeague Women championships. As a player of partially Jewish descent, Bird can claim Israeli citizenship and not count against Euroleague limits for foreign players.

WNBA career statistics

Regular season


Awards and honors

See also


  1. ^ a b c "The Wade Trophy". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Porter p. 42
  3. ^ a b c "Rolling in Rubles". ESPN. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  4. ^ D. Clarke Evans. "Sue Bird – Prominent Jewish Athletes". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Sue Bird: From Russia With Love 4". February 24, 2005. Retrieved February 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ "The Chosen One". March 28, 2007. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Women's Basketball/ No. 1 WNBA Draft pick Sue Bird headed to Ramle; Several top U.S. basketball players have appeared in Israel's women's league over the years, but Sue Bird tops them all.".  
  8. ^ "Sue Bird". Retrieved September 24, 2009. 
  9. ^ The Jewish News, by Nate Bloom, 2004
  10. ^ a b "Sue Bird". UCONN Hoop Legends. Retrieved February 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Sue Bird Biography". JockBio. October 16, 1980. Retrieved February 12, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 29 Jun 2014. 
  13. ^ Goldberg p 10–11
  14. ^ Jacobs, Jeff (March 5, 2011). Bird At The Buzzer' The Definitive Women's Basketball Tale"'". Hartford Courant. 
  15. ^ """Women's Basketball 1995 National Championship Team to be Recognized as "Huskies of Honor. Retrieved July 24, 2009. 
  16. ^ "UConn Media Guide". p. 141. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  17. ^ "2000 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". Retrieved Aug 3, 2014. 
  18. ^ "FOURTEENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN – 2002". USA Basketball. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Games of the XXVIIIth Olympiad – 2004". Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  20. ^ "FIFTEENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN – 2006". USA Basketball. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Games of the XXVIIIth Olympiad – 2008". USA Basketball. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  22. ^ a b "USA Basketball Women's National Team To Tip-Off Training Tomorrow In D.C.". USA Basketball. Retrieved October 1, 2009. 
  23. ^ "Six Olympic Gold Medalists Among 11-Member Team Set To Participate In WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun Game". USA Basketball. June 30, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2010. 
  24. ^ "FIBA World Championship for Women". FIBA. Retrieved July 5, 2010. 
  25. ^ "SIXTEENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN – 2010". USA Basketball. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  26. ^ "U.S. women win 5th gold in row". news services. August 11, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2012. 
  27. ^ Voepel, Mechelle (September 16, 2010). "Second title even sweeter for Storm". ESPN. Retrieved September 17, 2010. 
  28. ^ Stanchak, Scott (July 24, 2011). "WNBA Top 15 Players of All Time". Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  29. ^ "SPARTAK VIDNOE MOSCOW REGION basketball team". Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  30. ^ "Sue Bird". Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  31. ^ "PAST HONDA SPORTS AWARD WINNERS FOR BASKETBALL". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  32. ^ "USA Women’s National Team Outguns UMMC Ekaterinburg To Capture 2009 Ekaterinburg International Invitational Title". USA Basketball. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  33. ^ "All-WNBA 1st, 2nd teams announced". news services. September 14, 2010. Retrieved September 15, 2010. 
  34. ^ "UMMC Romp To Russian Cup Win". FIBA Europe. March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  • Goldberg, Jeff (2011). Bird at the Buzzer: UConn, Notre Dame, and a Women's Basketball Classic. Doris Burke. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.  
  • David L. Porter, ed. (2005). Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Press.  

External links

  • U.S. Olympic Team bio
  • Sue Bird at
  • UMMC profile
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