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Sue Bird

(1980 - )

Suzanne Brigit Bird is a professional women's basketball player and one of only seven women to win an Olympic Gold medal, NCAA and WNBA championships.

Bird (born October 16, 1980) was born in Syosset, New York to a Jewish family with Russian origins, though Sue was raised Christian by her mother. In high school, Bird played at Christ The King Regional High School in Queens where, in her second season, she led the team to a New York State championship and the national title.  That year she was honored as the New York State player of the year and was named a WBCA All-American.

Recruited by a number of high-profile college teams, Bird eventually enrolled at the University of Connecticut.  Injured during her freshman year, Bird returned in her second year at UConn to lead the women's team to a 36-1 record and won the NCAA National Championship. In her junior year in 2002, UConn went undefeated in the regular season but lost in the seminfinals of the NCAA tournament to rival Notre Dame. That year Bird won the Wade Trophy and Naismith Award as College Player of the Year.

In the 2002 WNBA draft, Bird was the first selection, taken by the Seattle Storm and immediately became a star in the league, being named to the All-Star game in her rookie season and finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting.  She was also named to the All-WNBA First Team, one of only two rookies to make that roster. 

In 2004, Bird was selected to join the Team USA Women's Basketball Team at the Athens Olympics, where she would win a gold medal.  That same year she led the Storm to their first WNBA Championship, making her one of only seven women to win an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA championship and a WNBA championship.

Bird acquired Israeli citizenship in 2006 and afterwards joined teammate Lauren Jackson and former UConn teammate Diana Taurasi on the Russian Euroleague team Spartak Moscow.  Bird, Jackson, and Taurasi led Moscow to win both the Russian Super League and the EuroLeague Women championships.

In 2008, she again joined Team USA at the Beijing Olympics where the women's basketball team won another gold medal in competition.

In July 2012, Bird was named yet again as a member of the women's basketball team representing Team USA at the London Olympics. At these most recent Summer Olympics, Bird competed in eight games, Group A Games #s 4, 18, 30, 42, and 52, as well as Quarterfinal 2, Semifinal 1, and Gold Medal Game. Along with the rest of the women's basketball Team USA, Bird played agains Croatia, Angola, Turkey, Czech Republic, China, Canada, Australia, and France. Team USA women's basketball beat France and won the gold medal in the Gold Medal Game on August 11, 2012.

Sources: Wikipedia; NBC Sports; Sports Illustrated; Jewish Women's Archive; JSpace