She’s Seattle’s next superstar, but even Breanna Stewart is surprised by the attention Breanna Stewart has been getting.
“I was driving – and someone screamed my name as I’m driving,” the Seattle Storm’s No. 1 overall draft pick told Q13 News. “I was like ‘Whoa!’ That didn’t even happen at UConn.”
What did happen at UConn was four national titles – much of that thanks to the three-time NCAA player of the year. Now, the WNBA’s top draft pick has everyone – in and out of Seattle – keeping tabs.
“I’m doing my best to embrace it,” she said. “You know – this is a huge opportunity for me, the Seattle Storm, and the WNBA.”
The Storm’s reigning superstar, Sue Bird, is impressed with what she’s seen so far.
“She really just seems so at ease with it all – very mature – and kind of has an understanding,” Bird said. “I don’t know if I had that at her age, when I got to the league.”
Amidst the fanfare, comes another understanding within the Storm organization itself – that despite the outside hoopla, Stewart’s transition to this level will take some time.
“She’s got a steep learning curve – every rookie does,” storm coach Jenny Boucek said. “Look back to Lauren Jackson’s first year – and then three years later, she was MVP and four years later, we were winning the championship.”
Which isn’t the first - and hardly the last time we’ll hear the names, Lauren Jackson and Breanna Stewart in the same breath.
“Stewie’s long and athletic and can play kind of all these spots and that’s exactly what Lauren could do as well,” Storm forward Abby Bishop said. “Obviously Stewie has a long way to go to get to where Lauren even was in terms of playing but I think – there’s definitely a lot of similarities there.”
And it comes on both sides of the court.
“You know, being able to shoot from outside, put the ball on the floor, post up on the block – that’s something that’s really fun to play with as a teammate,” Storm forward Alysha Clark said.
Stewart excels on the defensive end as well.
“You have no fear that whenever you get beat that there will be another layer of defense back there to block shots to half court, which I love,” Storm forward Monica Wright said.
So yes – get ready for the face of Storm basketball for years to come – but recognize first – she still sounds like a newcomer to Seattle.
“People says it rains, and it hasn’t rained a lot – so I don’t know what you’re talking about.”