Girls and Women in Sports Day: Sue Bird

Sue Bird credits her college coaches for helping her become the player she is today
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

Who has had the biggest influence on your basketball career?

Along the way I've been fortunate enough to have great coaching and at each step in my career those people have been the most influential. Starting as early as high school and into my professional career. If I had to pick one time period where I learned the most and where my identity as a basketball player formed, it would have to be college. My coaches in college helped develop me and helped me become the player I am today.

Who were the top female athletes you looked up to while growing up?

There weren't a lot of female athletes on TV while I was growing up so most of my favorite athletes were guys. Although, I do remember my dad making me watch a special on Stanford Women's Basketball. It was one of the few teams a women's basketball team, and player, were featured on TV. That player was Jen Azzi. To til this day when people compare me to her or confuse us because of our similar look, I take it as a great compliment.

Can you describe how it make you feel when a younger girl says she looks up to you as a role model?

As I was just saying, there weren't many female athletes for me to look up to, let alone female basketball players, so i love it when young girls say that to me. I just think its so important that there are female athlete role models, and not just for little girls but for everyone. To be one of them is something i truly enjoy.

The WNBA is well known for its work within the community. What kind of things have you done with fans to grow a relationship between them and the team and enhance the future of women's basketball?

The Seattle Storm does a great job reaching out to the community. As role models, we can use our position to not only stress the importance of being active but to also teach the importance of things such as reading, doing well in school, and being a positive influence overall. I think thats the greatest thing about our team.....We have a roster full of women who represent all of that.