The top 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 will convey 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 performed not only for this franchise, however for this league, this sport, and this metropolis. Can anybody guarantee that occurs?”
“I’ve mentioned it over and over, 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 generally for over 20 years. Sue Fowl 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 enjoying 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 enjoying and beginning 640 video games—probably the most in WNBA historical past—and compiling a 333-247 common season report 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 remaining 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 moving 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 street simply seeing the turnout and seeing individuals put my shirt on or individuals put my footwear on or individuals raise streamers. It was unbelievable and I am actually glad I did. I wasn’t positive I needed to and now I am unable to think about not doing it.”
Fowl performed her remaining recreation on September 6, dropping 97-92 to the Las Vegas Aces in Sport 4 of the NBA semifinals. After I walked off the courtroom for the final time at Local weather Pledge Area, the gang chanted, “Thanks, Sue!”
“One of many hardest issues about retiring isn’t being in a group setting once more,” Fowl mentioned on the time. “That is 100% of the toughest elements. It is actually laborious to copy what the setting is and what in the event you really feel. It is such a secure place. … It is so distinctive and intimate. You get to struggle with individuals and that relationship is so particular. I am going to most likely miss that probably the most” .
Fowl, 42, is broadly thought-about 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 affect of birds goes past the storm. The previous Connecticut Huskies star gained two NCAA championships, a report 5 Olympic gold medals with the ladies’s nationwide group and 5 Euroleague titles.
“Sooner or later I’ll look again at all the pieces, replicate a little bit bit and take all of it in,” Beard mentioned. “It is only a lot. There’s quite a bit 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 quite a bit to course of now. However down the street, I am going to get an opportunity. And it is not like I am going too far. I will be round.”