WNBA legend Sue Bird, a UConn alum and New York native, can add a new impressive checkmark to her already impressive resume of accomplishments.
Bird, age 40, a basketball icon who hails from the hamlet of Syosset in Nassau County on Long Island has been chosen to serve as one of Team USA’s flag bearers at the Opening Ceremony of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics on Friday, July 23.
Bird becomes the second American women's basketball player to carry the flag, joining now coach Dawn Staley, who carried it while a player in the 2004 Olympics.
“I know this isn’t about me," Bird said in a statement. "This is about all the players who either came before me and set the tone for what the USA Basketball women’s program is now, and also the players that I’ve been fortunate enough to play with. So, it’s not just about me. It’s representing all of them.”
Bird responded to the news on social media with red, white, and blue heart emojis.
Two-sport baseball player Eddy Alvarez was chosen as the second flag bearer to represent the country. It marks the first time that Team USA has had two flag bearers as the International Olympic Committee looks to increase diversity and gender equity at the Games.
Bird, who starred for two championship squads at UConn before becoming a four-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time WNBA champion with the Seattle Storm, played two years at Syosset High School during her freshman and sophomore years.
She then took her talents to Christ the King Regional High School in Queens as she sought tougher competition, going undefeated in her senior year to claim the New York State championship.
Bird’s accomplishments in pro sports include:
- Twelve-time WNBA All-Star;
- Five-time WNBA First-Team;
- Three-time WNBA Second-Team;
- Five-time EuroLeague Champion;
- Two-time NCAA champion;
- Five-time Russian National League champion;
- Member of WNBA All-Decade Team;
- WNBA all-time assists leader.
The Opening Ceremony is scheduled to start at approximately 8 p.m. local time in Tokyo, or 7 a.m. on the East Coast of the US. It will be aired live on NBC and replayed during prime time.
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