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CTK star Bird strikes gold again

The only feeling that might rival winning a gold medal at the Olympics is winning one for the second time.
Christ the King graduate and WNBA Seattle Storm star Sue Bird is one of the few athletes who have experienced that feeling as she helped lead the U.S. Women’s Basketball Olympic team to a gold medal with a 92-65 victory over Australia last week in Beijing.
“This feels amazing,” Bird said after winning her gold medal. “To be in Brazil two years ago playing for a bronze medal [2006 World Championships] to where we are right now and in the way we won is incredible.”
During the game against Australia, Bird chipped in with four points and two rebounds in 22 minutes of action for the U.S. squad, while fellow veterans Kara Lawson and Lisa Leslie led the team in scoring with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
“I couldn’t be happier right now, more proud of everyone on this team including the coaching staff and all the support staff,” Bird said. “It’s been an incredible month and this is a wonderful way to cap it off.”
Bird, who grew up in Syosset, starred at Christ the King for two years, but Christ the King Assistant Coach Jill Cook, who first met Bird when she coached her in AAU when she was 12, could tell from an early age that she was destined to be a star. Cook said that Bird’s individual basketball skills were above many of the girls she competed against, but it was her will to win that made her great.
“I just always remember Sue being the most competitive person that I ever coached or even met,” Cook said.
After excelling and accumulating many awards during her junior and senior years at Christ the King, Bird earned a scholarship to the University of Connecticut where she helped the Huskies win National Championships in 2000 and 2002 before becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft in 2002.
While Bird had immediate success in the WNBA, perhaps her most decorated year came in 2004 when she helped lead the Seattle Storm to the WNBA Championship, just months after she guided the U.S. women’s team to a gold medal in Athens, Greece.
Now, Bird will return to WNBA action as she looks to add a second title to her 2008 r/sum/.
“We’re extremely proud of her, and to have someone from our program represent the U.S. in any capacity is a great honor for us,” Cook said. “She has always been a great friend to the school.”

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