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

The tip of Sue Fowl’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 Fowl when she retired her #10 jersey on June 11 at Local weather Pledge Area 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 carry her again and retire her jersey, however why cease there?” Storm coach Noel Quinn mentioned final season. “You must get a statue outdoors the constructing for what you have achieved not only for this franchise, however for this league, this sport, and this metropolis. Can anybody make it possible for occurs?”

“I’ve mentioned it over and over, Sue deserves all her flowers. She’s a job mannequin and has been an envoy not only for girls’s basketball however for the game on the whole for over 20 years. Sue Fowl 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 develop into a Seattle icon and a fixture within the Storm lineup whereas enjoying and beginning 640 video games—essentially the most in WNBA historical past—and compiling a 333-247 common season document 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 look at her ultimate 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,” mentioned Fowl. “I did not know what I used to be entering into or may 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 Folks 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.”

Fowl performed her ultimate recreation on September 6, shedding 97-92 to the Las Vegas Aces in Recreation 4 of the NBA semifinals. After I walked off the court docket for the final time at Local weather Pledge Area, the group chanted, “Thanks, Sue!”

“One of many hardest issues about retiring isn’t being in a staff atmosphere once more,” Fowl mentioned on the time. “That is 100% of the toughest elements. It is actually onerous to copy what the atmosphere is and what when you really feel. It is such a secure place. … It is so distinctive and intimate. You get to warfare with individuals and that relationship is so particular. I am going to most likely miss that essentially the most” .

Fowl, 42, is broadly thought of the best guard in WNBA historical past and leaves behind a formidable legacy that features 4 WNBA championships and 13 WNBA All-Star appearances in addition to league information for many wins (333) and assists (3234).

After all, the impression of birds goes past the storm. The previous Connecticut Huskies star received two NCAA championships, a document 5 Olympic gold medals with the ladies’s nationwide staff and 5 Euroleague titles.

“Sooner or later I’ll look again at every little thing, replicate a bit bit and take all of it in,” Beard mentioned. “It is only a lot. There’s loads you consider. … Largely I am going to 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 am going to get an opportunity. And it isn’t like I am going too far. I will be round.”

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