Breanna Stewart: women's and world basketball icon

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Champion of the NCCA, the WNBA and possibly also the Euroleague, Breanna Stewart has won everything in her career and seems unstoppable

Breanna Stewart: women's and world basketball icon

Three years ago began Breanna Stewart's story. The WNBA opened its doors to whom is now considered the best female basketball player in the world, perhaps in history; back then it was already said: "she will be the best of all". In 2016, Seattle Storm took had the opportunity to choose the number 1 of the draft. Stewart changed basketball in a certain way. She seems to have no limit and, therefore, there is a widespread belief that she is the best athlete in her discipline.

Leer en español: Breanna Stewart: ícono femenino y mundial del baloncesto

Let's go back to the beginning: since her high school years, she has won everything playing for the Connecticut Huskies in the NCAA. She lasted four seasons and took the trophy in all of them. Stewart has also won six gold medals with the US national team's youth divisions, including the 2014 World Cup and at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Marca has made several articles dedicated to Stewart, who was on four occasions the best player in the aforementioned university league, an unprecedented achievement in the history of American university basketball. In fact, the closest someone achieved that been was an NBA record from Kareem Abdul Jabbar, who won it three times.

Breanna is 24 years old, 6'3 tall and weighs 176 pounds. It is easy to locate it as a pivot because of its size, but the truth is that she does many things on the flooring-board. Her movements back to the hoop are typical of a pivot, but also has good ball handling and the speed of a guard. She also scores three-pointers and hammers the ball, Marca points out.

His coach at the Huskies, Geno Auriemma, only has words of admiration for her: "Some of the greatest of university basketball have passed through here, but none had Stewart's gift, because the more important the match, the better she performs". This is said by a man who has handled talents such as Rebecca Lobo, Diana Taurasi, and Maya Moore.

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Valuable and 'Life warrior'

The 2017-18 season of the WNBA was the consecration for Stewart, not only for reaching the semifinals with Seattle, but also for her impressive numbers. Thanks to these, she managed to win the MVP award (Most Valuable of that edition). In that sense, Breanna achieved a third-year record of players like Elena Delle Done, Tina Charles and Lauren Jackson.

The Storm's record was a campaign of 26 wins and only 8 losses. Stewart left figures of 21.8 points per game (41.5% of them in triples), 8.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks, really spectacular numbers, according to another article from Marca. Seattle Storm ended up retaining the title of WNBA champions, after beating the Mystics of Washington by 98-82,

In addition to highlighting her achievements, Playground assures that Breanna suffered for two years until she turned eleven, because she was abused as a child by a close relative. The sexual abuser was arrested. The statement was made by Stewart to the well-known platform The Players Tribune.

The platform takes a phrase from a letter in which the best basketball player of the world said: "I’ve never been to therapy. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to relive it. It’s something I’ve tried to tuck away as far back on the shelf as I could. But that only works to an extent. I’ve cried (...) I’m forced to relive it. That’s when it hits that what happened is real. It wasn’t just an awful nightmare".

Undervalued female sport

Playground presents some relevant information. Neither Stewart, nor any other woman in this sport, nor in many other disciplines have managed to earn a salary in accordance with their high performance, regardless of their sex. Stewart's salary in season 17-18 was just USD 56,793,000, an amount that does not fit a star of her level.

Stewart's earnings in the WNBA for 2018 were 10 times less than the guaranteed minimum contract for an NBA player in the previous season: USD 562,469,000.

Recognized image

Anyway, Breanna is a worldwide sports phenomenon. Her achievements took her to ESPN's Body Issue 2018 and even made her an activist in campaigns against Trump's abuses or immigration policies, which do not promote racial equality and the rights of the Latin American community.

El Diario of México offers more details on this subject. It explains that ESPN already has a tradition showing the naked bodies of the most important athletes in the world and that for the celebration of the tenth anniversary, Breanna was one of the chosen ones, along with 15 other figures.

The list included a colleague of Stewart, Sue Bird, and the soccer Megan Rapione, who are a couple. They also included the Swedish soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the golfer Greg Norman, the basketball player Karl Anthony Towns, Saquon Barkley of the NFL, the former football player Jerry Rice, and Tori Bowie of athletics, among others.

Other distinctions

Marca says that the North American has stood out in all the stages of her career. In her first year in the WNBA, she was named 'Rookie of the Year', after leading the competition in points, rebounds and plugs in what novice category is concerned. It was almost unanimous: she received 38 out of 39 possible votes. In 2018 she won the Best Player of the World trophy in Tenerife, in which her country, United States, was proclaimed champion.

As if that was not enough, she is already starting to stand out in the Euroleague, where she was already nominated for her performance with the Dynamo Kursk of Russia, a team that looks unbeatable and that this season started 9-0. In her opening match in Russia, Breanna got off with 40 points and 15 rebounds. What are her numbers in Europe? 20.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1 steal, 1.8 blocks and 37.2% in triples.

LatinAmerican Post | Miguel Díaz

Translated from "Breanna Stewart: ícono femenino y mundial del baloncesto​"​​​​​​

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