May 12, 2021, published on

Dozens of young girl hoopers logged on to their computers, hoping to virtually meet their idol. Usually they’d be lining a tunnel in Seattle, watching Breanna Stewart as she runs onto the court. No matter. The girls were just excited to see her on their screens. Watch her. Maybe even talk to her. The girls were wearing muscle tanks, shorts. They looked ready to compete.

They looked like her.

Stewart started setting up video calls with young girls’ teams across the country last spring, during the height of quarantine, hoping to inspire the next generation of players while gyms were still closed. She wanted to tell them how to challenge themselves (she has to make 100 3s before she leaves the gym, 10 in a row at each spot). And she wanted to tell them about the voice in her head. The one that pushes her, the one that chases perfection. 

I have to be the best. I have to be the best.

Some athletes might have lost a bit of that drive after going through what Stewart has endured. She won two WNBA championships with the Seattle Storm, one last season and one in 2018. She miraculously rebounded from a devastating Achilles tendon tear to win the 2020 WNBA Finals MVP nearly 18 months later, along with a 2021 EuroLeague championship and tournament MVP And yet, the 26-year-old Stewart still is convinced that she has not reached her peak. No title, no accolade, is ever enough.

“I still feel there’s another level I can get to,” Stewart says. (READ FULL STORY HERE).