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Bird gained renown while playing as the starting point guard for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team from 1998 to 2002, and led them to NCAA title championships in 2000 and 2002. While playing for the Huskies, Bird was feared most as a three-point shooter, and also at the free throw line, where she averaged over 90% of her free throws in her sophomore and senior seasons. At the conclusion of her college career, she was named the Naismith Award winner and College Player of the Year in 2002.
She was the first pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft to the Seattle Storm and was also the first point guard to be picked first in the league's history. In her rookie season, she led the Storm to their first playoff appearance, and was also named a starter to the WNBA Western Conference All-Star team, and was a member of the All-WNBA First team at the conclusion of the 2002 season. She was second in the team in scoring (14.4 ppg), led in assists (6 apg), steals (1.6 spg), and in three point shots (57). She and teammate Lauren Jackson form one of the league's most electric one-two punches, drawing frequent comparisons to the Utah Jazz's John Stockton and Karl Malone.
The Storm had a strong 2004 season that led them to the playoffs. In the 2004 WNBA playoffs, Sue Bird averaged 8.5 points and 5.3 assists and overcame a broken nose in the conference finals series to help the Storm win their first ever WNBA Championship.
Sue Bird is one of six women to receive a Gold Medal, NCAA championship, and a WNBA Championship. The others are Ruth Riley, Sheryl Swoopes, and fellow Huskies Swin Cash, Rebecca Lobo, and Kara Wolters.
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