Breanna Stewart has been with the Storm for just over a year, and is one month away from her 23rd birthday, but it feels like she’s been in Seattle forever. Stewie is the new-age Lauren Jackson, and is already building her legacy in Seattle.
Being selected no. 1 overall in the 2016 WNBA draft, leading all rookies in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots and earning 2016 WNBA Rookie of the Year honors, is a nice way to start a career. She averaged an impressive 18.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per contest.
Thus far in her second WNBA season she made her first All-Star appearance in KeyArena, a place she knows very well. She is loyal to the Storm fans that are so supportive of city’s only professional basketball team and was quick to say that while she was excited for All-Star she was even more happy for them to experience it.
“We have great fans, and they are going to come out and make the weekend even more exciting,” Stewart said.
Stewart is big on giving back and the Seattle fans love her like they loved LJ.
Stewie mirrors Jackson’s style of play. She has the inside, outside game that stretches the floor to create space for her teammates, she’s an excellent finisher, and likes to pull up for a three in transition every now and again.
Jackson was awarded WNBA MVP three times (2003, 2007, 2010), one of only three players to accomplish that, joining the legendary Sheryl Swoopes and Lisa Leslie. In 2007 Jackson was also named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year. She is an eight-time WNBA All-Star and was selected to the WNBA first-team seven times.
Stewart had a slower start to the 2017 season, but has scored 20 points or more in her last eight games and is now averaging 19.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. She has eclipsed 1,000 career points in only one and a half seasons into her WNBA professional career. Jackson was into her third season by the time she reached that milestone.
This is Sue Bird’s 15th season in the league and she recently passed her former teammate Jackson’s record for most field goals made in Seattle Storm history with 2,091. Jackson notched an impressive 2,088 over 12 seasons. If Stewart continues to score like she has been her first season and a half, she is on pace to reach Jackson’s field goal record in half the time it took LJ.
Jackson was also drafted 1st overall in 2001, like Stewart, but was selected to the All-Star game in her rookie year and was the runner-up for Rookie of the Year award. These are just minor differences between these two players.
Both LJ and Stewie have extensive lists of basketball credentials, as legendary players tend to do, but what they have in common is that they are much more than basketball, they are both about community.
Stewart played host and ambassador for Seattle during All-Star weekend, attending the Jr. NBA clinic, going to the top of the Space Needle, and spending time with fans during a practice that was open to the public.
“That’s what made this weekend really fun,” Stewart said. “The whole community came together to put this on. It wasn’t just the Storm organization or the WNBA, it was literally the whole city.”
LJ earned her first MVP award in her third year in the league. Stewie’s path has been more similar, if not more impressive so far, than different from Jackson’s. Perhaps this is foreshadowing for next year.