BY SPNW Staff 07:07PM 03/30/2012

Storm’s Sue Bird Named To 3rd Olympic Team

Bird joins third U.S. team at an Olympics. Storm star won gold in Athens and Beijing and seeks No. 3 in London Games.

Sue Bird (11), who has two Olympic gold medals, could add a third during the London Games next summer. Storm teammate Lauren Jackson (15) will represent Australia. / Wiki Commons

Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm, who helped the franchise to a pair of WNBA championships, made her third U.S. Olympic team, the announcement coming from USA Basketball Friday. Bird seeks her third gold medal at the London Games, having won golds in Athens in 2004 and in Beijing in 2008.

Bird is one of five former University of Connecticut players selected to the U.S. Olympic team, joining Diana Taurasi, Swin Cash, Maya Moore and Tina Charles. Cash played for the Storm from 2008-11 before joining the Chicago Sky last year.

After winning the Wade Trophy and Naismith Award while playing for Connecticut in 2002, Bird became the Storm’s No. 1 WNBA draft pick. She was the first overall pick, and has been a league All-Star seven times  (2002-03, 2005-07, 2009, 2011).

She made first-team all-WNBA every year from 2002-05, and in 2010 became a member of the league’s All-Decade Team.

In 2004, Bird helped the Storm win the WNBA championship. She is one of seven women to win an NCAA championship, an Olympic gold medal and a WNBA title.

Bird helped the Storm add another WNBA championship in 2010. After two NCAA titles at UConn, two Olympic gold medals and two WNBA crowns, Bird was voted by WNBA fans in 2011 as one of the top 15 players in league history.

During Bird’s 10 years with the Storm, she has played in 324 games, all starts, and has averaged 12.7 points, 5.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Via the Storm, Bird said, “My role with the national team has been a maturation process in and of itself. USAB named 11 players total. As each year passed I became more experienced and more able to help lead this team. Now I feel like a true veteran, which is how I viewed Dawn Staley in 2000 and 2004. I also became much more comfortable, both on and off the court, which has helped me as well.”

Bird, who has played internationally with several teams since the Storm drafted her, is currently representing UMMC Ekaterinburg in the EuroLeague Women’s Final Eight in Istanbul.



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