Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird gets standing ovation in last game in her native New York

In what will almost certainly be her last game in front of fans in her native New York, Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird got a standing ovation from the visiting crowd.

In the waning moments before Seattle toppled the Liberty, 81-72, the crowd at Barclays Center gave Bird, who announced earlier this week that the 2022 season would be her last, a standing ovation.

“Unbelievable,” Bird said in a post-game interview that aired on ESPN. “… To all the fans that came out, thank you so much. I’ve got people in here that I’ve known my whole life — friends, family, old friends, new friends, some homies — it has really been amazing. I’m so glad that I was able to hit my final shot in my final game in New York.”.

Bird finished the game with 11 points, four assists and three rebounds. She went 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, including the last shot she took in the game, which went down after a favorable bounce.

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Bird, 41, was born in Syosset, New York, which is about 30 miles east of New York City. She played high school basketball in Christ the King High School in Queens, which is fewer than 10 miles from the Barclays Center.

Bird is in her 21st season with Seattle, although she missed the 2013 and 2019 seasons with injuries. She also is a five-time Olympic gold medalist and is the WNBA career leader in assists, games and minutes played. Bird was drafted No. 1 overall by the Storm in the 2002 WNBA draft and is a four-time WNBA champion and 12-time All-Star selection.

Bird was a star at the University of Connecticut, helping the Huskies win two national championships. She was named the AP College Player of the Year in 2002 and led UConn to a 39-0 record that season.

Bird also said that the Liberty made sure Bird’s family had tickets to the game and that New York’s players wore shirts that said: “Thank you, Sue”.

“This is where I grew up,” Bird continued. “Anybody knows who’s from New York, it teaches you a lot about basketball. There is a legacy here; New York basketball is the best. I just tried to uphold my side of it and now it’s time to pass the torch.”.

Contributing: Scooby Axson.

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