Storm's Sue Bird Named to U.S. Olympic Team

Sue Bird

March 30, 2012

SEATTLE - Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird has been named to the 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic Team, as announced today by USA Basketball. It will be the third Olympic Games for the veteran, who was a part of gold medal-winning teams in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"There is no greater honor than being selected to represent your country at the highest level," Bird said. "You are picked out as one of the best in your sport and chosen to represent your country against every other countries best. The Olympics goes beyond sport and it's a gift to be a part of them."

Four-time defending Olympic gold medalists, the U.S. seeks to capture its fifth straight and seventh overall gold medal and extend its 33-game Olympic winning streak at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. The Olympic women's basketball competition will be held July 28-Aug. 11 in the Olympic Park Basketball Arena (preliminary round and quarterfinals) and North Greenwich Arena (semifinals and finals).

"I think ... the toughest competition is going to be Australia. I think that's a no-brainer," Bird said of the team that will feature Storm teammate Lauren Jackson. "A lot of the European teams are moving up as well, but Australia's the one."

Along with Bird, Diana Taurasi and Tamika Catchings will make their third Olympic appearance. The trio enters elite company as only five other women have been on three Olympic teams: (Anne Donovan (1980, 1984, 1988), Katrina McClain (1988, 1992, 1996), Katie Smith (2000, 2004, 2008), Dawn Staley (1996, 2000, 2004) and Sheryl Swoopes (1996, 2000, 2004). In addition, Lisa Leslie has earned four gold medals in as many Olympics while Teresa Edwards remains the most decorated Olympic basketball player (men or women, regardless of the country) with four gold medals and one bronze in five Olympiads.

"What an impressive roster," Storm CEO and President Karen Bryant said as the 2012 team was announced. "It's a unique honor for Sue as she joins a very small group of women to play in at least three Olympics. It speaks to her level of leadership as a player and a person. We are tremendously proud of Sue and look forward to watching her compete this summer."

"As I've often said, in my opinion Sue is the best point guard in the world," added Storm Head Coach Brian Agler. "The National Team is in good hands with her at the point and I congratulate her on being selected to another Olympic team."

Bird led the Storm in scoring last season (14.7 points per game) and was named a starter in the WNBA All-Star game for the seventh time. She became the 16th player in WNBA history to reach 4,000 points and was also recognized as one of the Top 15 Players in WNBA History.

Bird, who recently suffered a broken nose, has been with Russian club UMMC Ekaterinburg since January and will attempt to finish third in the EuroLeague Final Eight on Sunday, when Ekaterinburg faces Fenerbahce.

The Storm opens the 2012 WNBA season by hosting the Los Angeles Sparks May 18 at KeyArena.

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