For Pride month, we’ve dedicated each day of June to an individual athlete or coach whose shining moment changed LGBTQ sports.
Out basketball player Sue Bird’s love of basketball began at age 6, when she attended her first New York Knicks game; the Long Island native began playing because her older sister, Jennifer, played.
Bird, whose girlfriend is Megan Rapinoe, was the No. 1 draft in 2002 and is preparing for another season, albeit a shortened one, with the Seattle Storm, where she’s spent her entire WNBA career. She’s helped her team win titles in 2004, 2010 and 2018, and averages 12.6 points per game and 7.1 assists per contest.
While not playing in the league, Bird has helped Team USA to four-straight Olympic gold medals with perfect 8-0 records each time.
But of all these accomplishments, Bird’s biggest claim to fame is that she is the most decorated FIBA World Cup athlete in history, male or female, owning four gold medals — 2002, 2010, 2014 and 2018 — and one bronze medal in 2006. That makes her the only five-time FIBA World Cup medalist. Outsports named her female athlete of the year in 2018.
In addition, her nine medals in the Olympics and World Cups is the most of any basketball athlete in the world.
We’ll have another Moment of Pride tomorrow and every day in June.