One-on-One with Sue Bird

Like Olympian Summer Sanders who chatted live on on Thursday, Seattle Storm rookie Sue Bird is a Title IX baby. Born in 1980-- eight years after the measure was passed--she was in great position to take advantage of the level playing field for womens' sports which would come to revolutionize women's opportunities as athletes. And, take advantage she did. While at the University of Connecticut, Sue was a two-time All-American, won two NCAA titles, was named the 2002 Associated Press and Naismith Player of the Year, and led her team to an undefeated season her season year.

Sue brought all those accolades to the WNBA as the number one overall draft pick this past April. In the midst of her first WNBA season, Sue is taking the league by, eh-hem, Storm. She ranks in the top ten in five statistical categories, including third in steals-per-game and fourth in total assists. Bird has combined with second year pro Lauren Jackson to provide a potent inside-outside scoring punch for Seattle. In addition to all that, Sue is proving to be a fan favorite, leading all West guards in votes received in balloting for the starters for the 2002 WNBA All-Star game. (Vote now for All-Stars!)

Sue stopped by for an online chat on Friday, June 21. See what she had to say about the effect Title IX has had on her life, the growth of women's sports, the Storm's playoff aspirations and more..

AKA(L.I.): Sue; MUCH RESPECT! (even though I never once doubted you're work ethic). Explain Title IX and what it has done for you and women in general.

Sue Bird: Thanks for writing. I'm lucky because my generation is one of the beneficiaries of Title IX. And I'm also lucky that I get to hear the stories of Lin Dunn who is one of the pioneers. And without it, I probably would not have a place to play right now. I'm very thankful for that.

Emily, Houston: Have the vets of the WNBA helped you become more thankful of the program and to be able to be a pro athlete?? Thanks and can't wait to see you here in Houston!

Sue Bird: Definitely. To see where they came from and what they've done for women's basketball, I'm very thankful for that. For people my age, we have to kind of take the torch and continue to run with it.

angela (seattle): You are a great asset to the Seattle Storm and single-handedly increased the hype of womens basketball in the Northwest. How do you feel to be such a important icon in a new enivronment?

Sue Bird: I don't really look at it like that. But I was happy when I got drafted by Seattle. I looked at it as a great opportunity and so far the people in the Northwest have been really really welcoming. And hopefully interest will continue to rise.

Armando Somerville, MA: Sue, Growing up ,who were the people that shaped your life and what would you like to see in the future for women's sports? Thanks and good luck for the rest of the season.

Sue Bird: Thanks for the good luck. Growing up it was really just the people I came in contact with that shaped who I am, my family, my friends, my teammates and my coaches.

I think we're headed in the right direction. If we can continue what we're doing and get better and better, the game will grow.

prospero : Hey Sue!! How is your rookie year going? I love watching you play on TV. I cant wait till you come to New York to play the Liberty! Hope you like it in Seattle! thanx

Sue Bird: So far so good. We've lost a few games but we're competitive with everybody. And our goal is to make the playoffs. I think we're headed in the right direction.

Jessica: Hey Sue! I wanted to say that I think you are awesome! I also wanted to ask what would you have done if you hadn't been given the opportunity to play basketball at this level? Good luck for the rest of the seaon!

Sue Bird: I'd probably be playing soccer. And if I couldn't do either of those, I'd have to find another hobby.

Damon (Cleveland): In your "This Is Whom I Am" advertisement, who is "Big Poppa?"

Sue Bird: To make a long story short, Big Poppa is a song written by Notorious BIG and the guy just asked me to recite a line from it. So I did. It's just one of my favorite songs.

T. Berry (Dallas): If you could play a game of horse against a NBA player and a WNBA player, retired or active, who would they be and why?

Sue Bird: Larry Legend -- Larry Bird. And Nancy Lieberman for WNBA.

Julie (Gresham, OR): Sue, We love watching you play. What's your favorite part of playing for the Storm, and do you think we'll make the playoffs this year?

Sue Bird: My favorite part is probably just who we work with coaches and team. We have great people. Plus we get to play in front of some very great fans. Thanks for the good luck.

Sue Bird: Thanks to all of the fans who signed on. I wish I could answer more of your questions, but today is a game day, so I have to go prepare. You guys sent some great questions, so thank you and go Storm!!

Moderator: For more information on Title IX and the WNBA pioneers, tune in to this evening's special edition of Player's Journal: Title IX, at 5p.m. on Lifetime!

Moderator: Thanks to everyone who sent in great questions. This is a game day for Sue, so we had to keep the chat a bit shorter than normal, but we will get her online again before the season is over!