Storm Storm will be sporting the No. 10 Saw Bird jersey this season

The top of Sue Chook’s retirement will come when the WNBA season approaches in 4 months and the Storm’s blueprint is a brand new course with out the best level guard in franchise historical past.

Ceremonially, the Storm would bid farewell to and honor Chook when she retired her #10 jersey on June 11 at Local weather Pledge Enviornment throughout a recreation in opposition to the Washington Mystics.

Former Byrd teammate Lauren Jackson is the one different Storm participant to have her jersey retired.

“I do know sooner or later we’ll convey her again and retire her jersey, however why cease there?” Storm coach Noel Quinn stated final season. “It’s best to get a statue outdoors the constructing for what you’ve got performed not only for this franchise, however for this league, this sport, and this metropolis. Can anybody ensure that occurs?”

“I’ve stated it time and again, Sue deserves all her flowers. She’s a task mannequin and has been an envoy not only for ladies’s basketball however for the game basically for over 20 years. Sue Chook embodies whirlwind basketball as a result of she does it proper each single day.”

Since being drafted #1 total within the 2002 WNBA Draft, Byrd has spent her 21-year profession enjoying 19 seasons for the Storm.

The 5-foot-9 ponytail maker from Syosset, New York, has turn out to be a Seattle icon and a fixture within the Storm lineup whereas enjoying and beginning 640 video games—probably the most in WNBA historical past—and compiling a 333-247 common season report and a 34-26 mark within the playoffs for greater than 20 years.

She introduced retirement plans final June and spent the second half of the 2022 season singing praises throughout a farewell tour that drew hundreds of followers who flocked in droves to observe her last stops across the league.

At first, the very cool Sparrow was hesitant about her tributes and pre-game festivities, however she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of affection and affection bestowed upon her.

“The Farewell Tour was nice,” stated Chook. “I did not know what I used to be moving into or might have predicted what it was going to be like, however I could not have requested for a greater send-off. All of the love, clearly right here in Seattle however even on the highway simply seeing the turnout and seeing individuals placed on my shirt or individuals placed on my footwear or Individuals holding up indicators. It was unbelievable and I am actually glad I did. I wasn’t certain I needed to and now I can not think about not doing it.”

Chook performed her last recreation on September 6, shedding 97-92 to the Las Vegas Aces in Recreation 4 of the NBA semifinals. Once I walked off the courtroom for the final time at Local weather Pledge Enviornment, the group chanted, “Thanks, Sue!”

“One of many hardest issues about retiring isn’t being in a workforce setting once more,” Chook stated on the time. “That is 100% of the toughest components. It is actually laborious to duplicate what the setting is and what if you happen to really feel. It is such a secure place. … It is so distinctive and intimate. You get to struggle with individuals and that relationship is so particular. I will most likely miss that probably the most” .

Chook, 42, is extensively thought-about the best guard in WNBA historical past and leaves behind a powerful legacy that features 4 WNBA championships and 13 WNBA All-Star appearances in addition to league data for many wins (333) and assists (3234).

After all, the influence of birds goes past the storm. The previous Connecticut Huskies star gained two NCAA championships, a report 5 Olympic gold medals with the ladies’s nationwide workforce and 5 Euroleague titles.

“In some unspecified time in the future I’ll look again at every thing, replicate slightly bit and take all of it in,” Beard stated. “It is only a lot. There’s loads you consider. … Largely I will miss the individuals. All of the individuals I performed with, the coaches, the individuals within the constructing, the Storm followers who actually embraced me and took me in.

“There’s loads to course of now. However down the highway, I will get an opportunity. And it isn’t like I am going too far. I will be round.”

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