The Seattle Storm season kicks back off tonight at 7:00pm at Key Arena. As the Seattle Storm (9-15) host the WNBA league leading Los Angeles Sparks (21-3). Seattle last played on July 22nd, as they dropped a close game in Minnesota to the Lynx, 79-72.
While most of the Storm have had a moment to rest and relax over this past month. Seattle’s two Olympians were quite busy in Rio; as Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart would go 8-0 in the Olympics to win the Gold Medal for Team USA. This was Sue Bird’s 4th Gold Medal (2016, 2012, 2008, 2004) and Breanna Stewart’s first as a professional.
Jewell Loyd, of the Storm, also participated as part of Team USA’s Select team. The Team USA Select team is comprised of players that just missed the cut for the final roster and younger players that will have a very good chance to be on the Olympic team in 2020. The Team USA Select team gave Team USA their toughest test in an exhibition game before the Olympic preliminary matches started. Team USA narrowly won 88-84. In that game, Jewell Loyd was one of the main stand outs with 20 points and seven assists. Loyd led the Select team in assists and was second in scoring, only next to Natasha Howard’s 24 points.
In Team USA’s first Olympic preliminary match they defeated Senegal 121-56. Sue Bird led the team with eight assists. Breanna Stewart tied for a team high 15 points on 5-6 FG shooting.
In their second game, Team USA would face Spain (who they would later see in the Gold medal game) and would win 103-63. Stewart and Bird would both score nine points in this game, and Bird would once again lead the team in assists with five.
The third game, saw Team USA defeat Serbia 110-84. Breanna Stewart would shine, scoring the second most points on the team with 17 points, and adding five rebounds. The Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi would lead the team with 25 points in this win.
In the fourth game, Team USA would go on to defeat Canada 81-51 in one of their “closer” games. This game was the first time Team USA was held to under 100 points. Sue Bird continues to show she’s the best PG in the world as she led the team with nine assists.
The fifth game was a one-sided battle against China as Team USA would win 105-62. Sue Bird would chip in seven points and five assists. And Stewie would add six points in this victory.
In the sixth game, we had Seattle Storm teammates facing off against each other as Team USA would face Japan and the Storm’s Ramu Tokashiki. This game was the Quarterfinals and the first game of the elimination round. Japan kept the game close in the first half, only trailing 56-46. But Team USA used a big run in the 2nd half to win the game 110-64. Tok led Japan with 14 points, four assists, and three rebounds. Unfortunately, Sue Bird got injured in this game in what was feared as a massive knee injury.
Bird would sit out the 7th game, a semi-finals match-up against France. It was Team USA’s closest game, but they still manged to win 86-67. Sue Bird did not play as she was still dealing with her knee injury; which would later be diagnosed as a right knee capsule sprain. Stewart played very limited minutes and did not score in this one.
In the 8th and final game of the Olympics, Team USA would win the Gold Medal beating Spain for a second time, 101-72. Sue Bird would fortunately return, but play limited minutes with her right knee injury. Stewart was a strong contributor off the bench, scoring 11 points in eleven minutes.
Stewart has had a phenomenal year. She led UConn to a perfect college basketball record and fourth straight National Title; while also earning the Most Outstanding Player award for a fourth straight time. She was then drafted #1 overall by the Seattle Storm in April’s WNBA Draft. She has since gone on to win WNBA Rookie of the Month for three straight months and has helped the Storm battle for the 8th and final playoff spot. And most recently has helped Team USA win the Gold Medal as a Rookie.
She is a very, very special player Seattle. As the Storm season resumes tonight, let’s make sure we continue to get out to games and support this rising star!