SEATTLE — Nearly 30 minutes after practice, Breanna Stewart was delivering a scouting report on the Storm’s upcoming WNBA playoff matchup against the Washington Mystics when she got distracted and lost her train of thought.
“Oh, my goodness,” she said. “I don’t know what that is.”
At the opposite end of the court, Stewart spotted her baby girl Ruby, who recently celebrated her first birthday, doing some sort of scooting/crawling maneuver while spearheading a basketball across the floor and playing with two similar-aged cousins who flew in from Spain.
Stewart is reminded of something she said at the start of the season about wanting to have it all and balancing the demands of family and being a professional superstar athlete.
“I’m learning that I can be a great mom and a great basketball player,” she said at the time.
Well, 11 months after an Achilles injury forced her to miss Seattle’s playoff loss last year, Stewart is back in the postseason where she’s dominated like few have in this league.
“When I’m healthy, I think that I’m able to be the best player in this league,” Stewart said Monday on the day it was announced she won the AP WNBA Player of the Year award. “I have that confidence and carry that to elevate myself and my team and the WNBA.”
If it sounds cocky or arrogant, it’s not.
It’s simply Stewart, the only person in NCAA history to win four national championships and four Most Outstanding Player of the Year awards, acknowledging her unparalleled resume and understanding what she means to the Storm, who are vying for the franchise’s fifth league championship.
The 27-year-old Stewart believes she’s playing better than she did when she led Seattle to WNBA titles in 2018 and 2020 while claiming WNBA Finals MVPs.