To kick off Women in Sports Week at The Daily Campus, Sports Editor Dan Madigan talked with UConn legend and current Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart. Stewart, who is second in UConn women’s basketball history in scoring and is the only player in college basketball history with four national championships and four Final Four Most Outstanding Player awards, touched on her life as a professional, playing in the WNBA and increasing popularity of women’s sports just days before she begins her second season with the Storm.
Dan Madigan: How important is it for you as a female professional athlete to use your platform to inspire others?
Breanna Stewart: I think it’s very important. The fact that when you become a professional and embrace that lifestyle you also embrace having the platform to speak out and let your opinion be known and go after the things that you think deserve to happen, whether it’s equal pay, the Muslim ban or just equality for women and women in sports in general.
Madigan: Are there specific things that stand out to you in women’s sports that are different than men’s sports?
Stewart: I think it’s just continuing to get people to pay more attention to us and that kind of thing, whether it’s on social media or media in general, they’re coming to our games and realizing that, between men’s and women’s sports, we’re playing the same sports. It’s just the people that are on the court or on the field that are different.
Madigan: Last year was your rookie season in the WNBA and the league’s 20th anniversary. What’s it like to be a part of the league for that milestone, and how much of a goal was it for you to be in the WNBA when you were younger?
Stewart: It was one of my dreams growing up to play in the WNBA, play professionally. And come draft night when that dream came true, when I was drafted by Seattle, it kind of just made things come full circle from when I was a kid. Now I’m just continuing to enjoy it. I play basketball for a living, and I think that’s pretty awesome to say.