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 sport towards 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 stated final season. “It is best to get a statue outdoors the constructing for what you have completed not only for this franchise, however for this league, this sport, and this metropolis. Can anybody guarantee 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 girls’s basketball however for the game on the whole for over 20 years. Sue Chook embodies whirlwind basketball as a result of she does it proper each single day.”
Since being drafted #1 general within the 2002 WNBA Draft, Byrd has spent her 21-year profession taking part in 19 seasons for the Storm.
The 5-foot-9 ponytail playmaker from Syosset, New York, turned a Seattle icon and a fixture within the Storm’s lineup whereas taking part in and beginning 640 video games—probably the most in WNBA historical past—and compiling a 333-247 common season document and 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 1000’s of followers who flocked in droves to observe her closing 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 entering into or predicting what it will 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 put my shirt on or individuals put my sneakers on or individuals elevate streamers. It was unbelievable and I am actually glad I did. I wasn’t certain I wished to and now I am unable to think about not doing it.”
Chook performed her closing sport on September 6, dropping 97-92 to the Las Vegas Aces in Sport 4 of the NBA semifinals. Once I walked off the court docket for the final time at Local weather Pledge Enviornment, the gang chanted, “Thanks, Sue!”
“One of many hardest issues about retiring isn’t being in a workforce atmosphere once more,” Chook stated on the time. “That is 100% of the toughest components. It is actually exhausting to duplicate what the atmosphere is and what if you happen to really feel. It is such a secure place. … It is so distinctive and intimate. You get to battle with individuals and that relationship is so particular. I am going to most likely miss that probably the most” .
Chook, 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 data for many wins (333) and assists (3234).
In fact, the impression of birds goes past the storm. The previous Connecticut Huskies star gained two NCAA championships, a document 5 Olympic gold medals with the ladies’s nationwide workforce and 5 Euroleague titles.
“In some unspecified time in the future I will look again at all the things, replicate a little bit bit and take all of it in,” Beard stated. “It is only a lot. There’s rather a lot you consider. … Principally 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 rather a lot 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.”