Taking The World By Storm - Sue Bird
Bird got her first experience with the USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team in 2002, when she was part of the squad that competed in the World Basketball Championships. Bird averaged 4.3 points and earned a spot on the core roster for this year's Senior National Team. She participated in training sessions this spring, helping the USA Women's Team go 13-0 in exhibition games. Bird got her first international experience in 2000 during the R. William Jones Cup as the USA earned gold by winning all four of its games in Taipei, Taiwan.
Aug. 28 - Bird and the U.S. were golden Saturday, pulling away from Australia in the fourth quarter for a 74-63 win and a third straight gold medal. The Aussies made things interesting in the third quarter, but reserve Shannon Johnson helped spark a fourth-quarter run as the U.S. women clamped down on defense. Bird got in at the end of the game and made its final pass, sending the ball to U.S. co-captain Dawn Staley, a member of the last three gold-medal-winning teams.
Aug. 27 - The U.S. got a scare, but advanced through to the gold-medal game with a 66-62 victory over Russia. The U.S. women led by just two points with three minutes to play, but Sheryl Swoopes came up with two key buckets to hold the Russians at bay. Bird did not see any action during the close game.
Aug. 25 - Opening single-elimination play, the U.S. women were barely threatened in cruising by host Greece, 102-72. The U.S. led from start to finish and by at least double-digits most of the last three quarters. Bird saw only 12 minutes of action with Shannon Johnson going off for a team-high 21 points, and scored three points herself.
Aug. 22 - The U.S. women closed out group play with a 100-62 blowout against China. With the game never in doubt in the second half, Bird saw heavy action and finished with four points and five assists, her Olympics high. The U.S. will next face Greece in the quarterfinals Wednesday.
Aug. 20 - Facing their toughest test yet, the U.S. women passed, relying on their powerful front line to pull away from previously undefeated Spain for a 71-58 win. The victory clinched first place in Group B for the Americans. Bird saw just eight minutes of action as U.S. Coach Van Chancellor tightened his rotation, missing all four shots she took.
Aug. 18 - Another slow start, another blowout for the U.S. women, who trailed after one quarter but opened up a 29-point lead by the end of three quarters complete en route to an 80-57 win. It was an off night for Bird, however, as she missed all seven of her shot attempts, including six threes. Bird wasn't the only U.S. player unable to find the mark, as the U.S. women shot 3-for-20 as a team.
Aug. 16 - The U.S. started slowly again and trailed well into the second quarter against the Czech Republic, but the U.S. women used their trademark combination of stifling defense and dominance on the boards to slowly pull away for an 80-61 triumph that moved them to 2-0 in the Olympics. Seeing less action than in the opener, Bird still scored seven points off the bench.
Aug. 14 - Bird had six points and three assists and she and her fellow reserves, including former UConn teammates Swin Cash (19 points) and Diana Taurasi (12 points) helped the U.S. take command after a slow start en route to a 99-47 blowout over New Zealand. It was an impressive Olympics debut for Bird.
Aug. 9 - Bird had five points and a steal in 15 minutes of action Monday as the U.S. women defeated Spain, 77-61. With the win over the host, the U.S. won the Spanish Invitational Tournament.
Aug. 8 - Bird posted one of the better performances of her international career Sunday, tying her USA Basketball high with 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting against France. Led by Bird and a smothering defense that held the French to 27.5% shooting, the U.S. squad shook off a slow start to easily defeat France, 68-38.
Aug. 6 - Bird and her U.S. teammates traveled to Spain for a pre-Olympics warm-up tournament.
Aug. 5 - In the WNBA's unorthodox All-Star Game, USA Basketball vs. WNBA: The Game at Radio City, it was all U.S. women, as they picked up a 74-58 victory. The win was keyed by Bird and her young teammates, who helped break open a close game early with tight defense and effective ball movement. Bird had two points and three asssists and hooked up with fellow UConn alums Diana Taurasi and Swin Cash on one of The Game's top plays, a no-dribble fast break that Cash finished with a layup.
Aug. 6 - Bird's Olympics Dreams Become Reality
Mar. 15 - Bird Ready to Spread Her Wings
Aug. 19 - Bird Talks Olympics, WNBA.com
Aug. 18 - Women's hoopsters painting Greece red, white and blue, Seattle Times
Aug. 14 - Opening Ceremonies Delight the USA Women's Team, USABasketball.com
Aug. 13 - Flag-bearing honors a fairy tale for trailblazing Staley, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Aug. 13 - U.S. will slip into Games with quiet, orderly entrance, Seattle Times
Aug. 13 - Lauren Jackson vs. Sue Bird: When teammates collide, The News Tribune
Aug. 12 - Press Conference Quotes, USABasketball.com
Aug. 11 - Storm trio fired up for Athens, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Aug. 10 - Transition from teammates to rivals an easy game for Storm, Seattle Times
Aug. 10 - Olympian Quote Sheet, WNBA.com
Aug. 9 - Sue Bird Checks in From Salamanca, Spain, USABasketball.com
Aug. 8 - Timeout: Sue Bird, Newsday
Aug. 3 - It's Country First, Mate, Los Angeles Times
Aug. 1 - Teammates to enemies, The News Tribune
Apr. 27 - Storm pleased to take a timeout for Olympics, Seattle Times
Feb. 6 - Bird chosen for U.S. Olympic team, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Feb. 6 - Bird's national elation a joy for all, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Feb. 5 - Sue Bird Chosen For Women's National Team
Ambassadors of the Game: Sue Bird, WNBA.com
On playing against Lauren Jackson:
"We joke about it. She recently dyed her hair blonde, but she kind of messed it up so it has a gold tint. So she's saying, gold for Australia. But if we do play them, I know all her secrets." (8/8, Newsday)
"This is the one time that we are going to get to put on that jersey that says USA and there are going to be troops in Iraq cheering for us. That's kind of, I don't know how to describe it. Cool in a way. If people in Iraq can watch the Olympics and it takes them away from what they are doing for an hour, hour and a half, I'm all for that." (8/8, Newsday)
On what she's looking forward to:
"Other than them putting the medal around my neck? Probably the opening ceremonies. Iíve always heard how much fun that is and Iíve always watched in on TV. Iím looking forward to that." (8/1)
"I couldn't be more thrilled. I'm looking forward to it so much. It seems so close and yet, sometimes, I think it's so far away, but now it's like a week and a half. But yeah, I'm very excited, I can't wait to get over there and the whole thing. I don't know what to expect. So I'm looking forward to it." (8/1)
"Sunday, I'm going to be focused on the Storm. And then Monday, Lauren is my new enemy." (8/1, The News Tribune)
"Iíve only watched the Olympics on television, so to actually experience it all first-hand is going to be pretty incredible. I am looking forward to the Opening ceremonies and the whole experience. I know that the team had stayed in the Olympic village in the past and we have some sort of alternate housing set up. Hopefully weíll get to be there a couple of nights. I want to get to see some other events, if possible. know some of the girls on the soccer team, so hopefully Iíll be able to watch them play. Iím just going to try and take it all in - enjoy the entire experience." (WNBA.com)
"It is going to be fun playing against (Lauren). If anything, hopefully I can come visit her in the Olympic village, check out what's going on over there and hang out with the Australians since I feel like I am one already at this point with all the Australians on our team. But Lauren is a great player. She is the 'it' girl for her team and I'm actually glad that I do not have to guard her. She's too tough." (WNBA.com)
"I'd give up everything, a zillion dollars, to play in the Olympics. When I was a little girl, there was no WNBA. The coolest thing for me was the Olympics. It was the ultimate." (4/27, Seattle Times)
"The Olympics are going to be very, very competitive.
"Russia and Australia will be very good. Right now, we are with our WNBA teams while Sandy Brondello is practicing all summer with her Australian team. The Aussies are getting ready. The Russians are getting ready.
"It's not going to be easy." (4/27, Seattle Times)
On being selected to the USA Basketball Senior Women's National Team:
"I am so excited about this, it's a huge honor. It will mean so much to be in the Olympics and hopefully to win a gold medal." (2/5)
"I called my mom, I called my dad, I called my sister, I called my friends." (2/6, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)