SEATAC -- Seattle Storm forward and league MVP Breanna "Stewie" Stewart hopes to eat and drink all that her "heart desires" in coming days after leading her team to its third WNBA title Wednesday night.
It's the first WNBA championship for Stewart, who scored 30 points in a 98-82 victory over the Washington Mystics in Game 3 of the best-of-five series. As a first-time champion, Stewart said she'll have to turn to teammate Sue Bird for guidance on how to properly celebrate.
"It feels great," a bleary-eyed Stewart told reporters as she stepped into Sea-Tac Airport, fresh off of an early-morning flight. "You know it’s early, it’s early for us, but to have this kind of support, this is what it’s all for."
Stewart and her teammates were greeted with a warm welcome at the airport, where fans lined up to congratulate the ladies on their victory and snap a few selfies with their favorite players.
For Bird, a member of a Seattle's championship teams in 2004 and 2010, this third title feels different.
"This has been, oddly, a very stressful playoff run," Bird said. "When you know what can go wrong, you kind of overthink it. I didn’t know if I’d be back to the finals ever again. We went through a rebuild a couple of years ago, and who’s to say we’d get here this quickly. So for me to be here now, not that I didn’t enjoy the other ones, but I’m just truly enjoying this right now. I’ve been having a hard time putting it all into words. It’s been that meaningful."
Asked whether she would visit the White House if invited by President Donald Trump, Bird said, "No, I wouldn't."
"I’m sure he’s going to say we’re not invited anyway. So it all works out well. We haven’t talked about it. He didn’t invite the last WNBA champions," she said.
Although most of the team didn't shut their eyes until they got on a plane this morning, they said it was worth it to see all the fans waiting for them when they got home.
"They definitely supported us during the season ... to see the turnout at the playoffs, it was huge for us," Bird said. "It really gave us that home court advantage. To see them here now is not surprising at all, and we definitely appreciate it."
The party's not over for the Storm and the fans who want to continue celebrating their big win.
A rally and a parade are planned for Sunday afternoon near Seattle Center. The festivities kick off around 1 p.m. More details will be on the parade will be released soon.
After the parade, the team will make its way into KeyArena for a rally, hosted by Seattle play-by-play talent Dick Fain and color analyst Elise Woodward. The rally is open to the public, and fans are asked to enter through the West Doors, located on the West Plaza of KeyArena.