One of the greatest WNBA players of all time hit the court in Connecticut one last time. Fans from all over came to watch Sue Bird play at Mohegan Sun Arena and to wish her well in her final season.
“Just to honor her and her legacy here in Connecticut and her legacy in the WNBA and her legacy as a human being,” said Denise Goodnow, who traveled from Vermont to watch the game.
Before the game, a long line formed outside the arena. Many people wore UConn shirts, Bird’s jersey number, or made it clear who they believe is the Greatest of All Time.
Recognizing the impact she’s had on this state, Gov. Ned Lamont declared Thursday Sue Bird Day.
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“I like to watch her play,” said Kiley Bohn, of Berlin.
“She’s a great role model,” said Bohn’s dad, Jason.
The former UConn Husky has inspired many future basketball stars. Anne Phillips and her sister, Holly, got a chance to see Bird’s skills up close.
“She’s one of my role models. I’m a point guard too, and I just love watching her play,” said 13-year-old Anne.
It’s a bittersweet moment for people who have followed the five-time Olympic gold medalist’s incredible career.
Mary Borelli arrived from Maine to watch the basketball star that she’s cheered on since UConn.
“She’s just so strong and outspoken, and I just love the way she plays,” said Borelli.
The fans who are inspired by Bird, by who she is and what she’s done, had a message for us to pass along to her.
“I hope she knows that she has made a huge impact, not only the world of basketball, but the world in general,” said Goodnow.
“I’m one of her biggest fans, and she’s had many supporters. And she’s amazing,” said Anne.
“I’m her second biggest fan, but also her biggest fan. But she is such a great role model, and she never gave up. And that’s huge for me,” said 10-year-old Holly.
“Just a big thank you. For all the years. That’s all,” said an emotional Borelli.