WNBA legend Sue Bird will take the court in New York one last time on Sunday.
Bird and the Seattle Storm are set to face off against the New York Liberty at Barclays Center, with the contest starting at 12. It will be Bird’s first game since announcing her retirement from the sport on Thursday.
“I’ve decided this will be my final year,” Bird shared on her social media channels. “I have loved every single minute, and still do, so gonna play my last year, just like this little girl played her first.”
Before competing on the biggest stage in the Big Apple, the 41-year-old grew up dominating the local competition.
A resident of Syosset, Bird first turned heads while playing for Christ the King High School in Queens. Bird’s impressive play earned her a spot at UConn under head coach Geno Auriemma, where she immediately thrived. The New York native led the Huskies to national titles in 2000 and 2002, earning National Player of the Year honors in 2002 while alongside what many deem the greatest starting lineup in women’s college basketball history.
Bird went on to be picked first-overall by the Seattle Storm in the 2002 WNBA Draft. In 19 seasons playing for Seattle, Bird has averaged 11.9 points, 5.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. Heading into Friday, the 5-foot-9 point guard has accumulated 3,114 assists – 514 more than second – 965 three pointers, 700 steals and 6,639 points over her illustrious career.
Bird’s extraordinary play has led her to accumulate quite the trophy case. The 12-time All-Star has won four WNBA titles to go alongside five Olympic gold medals she received while playing for Team USA.
Following her retirement announcement, Bird revealed at a Connecticut press conference that her decision of when to publicize the news was largely because of the Storm’s looming game versus the Liberty.
“Knowing it was gonna be my last game in New York is really what started the thought process around announcing that this would be my last year,” Bird said. “Now that this New York game is coming I get to share it with my family, my friends, which I’m excited about. It was the right time for me.”
Bird’s friends, family and fans are sure to be in attendance at Barclays Center on Sunday.