Much like their male counterparts, the women of the NBA have been experiencing a rise in popularity. Their marketability is at an all-time high and demand for their autographs and memorabilia has never been higher. With that being said, it’s no surprise that these players are raking in cash by dunking on people and sinking baskets. Today, we take a look at Sue Bird, one of the most successful female basketball players of all time. What is Sue Bird net worth?
The Seattle Storm point guard has racked up a number of impressive accolades throughout her illustrious career. In fact, she is considered one of the greatest female athletes to come out of Hawaii and was inducted into the University of Connecticut School Endicott Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.
That same year, Bird signed a seven-year contract with the Seattle Storm as a cornerstone player (and because she’s dating fellow teammate Sami Whitcomb). Let’s take a look at how she went from humble beginnings to becoming one of the highest-paid players in the WNBA.
Who Is Sue Bird?
Sue Bird is a professional basketball player. She played for the Seattle Storm of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and is considered one of the greatest WNBA players of all time. In the WNBA’s Youngest team ever, she played for the Seattle Storm for the past 19 years, retiring at the end of the 2018 season. Prior to playing in the WNBA, she played college basketball at the University of Connecticut, winning national titles in 2000 and 2002.
Sue was born in 1979 in Tacoma, Washington. Her father, Ray, played football for the University of Idaho, and her mother, Pat, was a basketball player at the University of Idaho as well. Bird has two younger brothers, including one who played college football at the University of Washington.
Sue Bird’s Road to Stardom
After a tumultuous childhood, Sue Bird committed to the basketball team at Lakeridge High School in 1994. She averaged 23 points, six assists, and six steals per game her senior year. Unfortunately, her high school basketball career ended with a disappointing loss in the state playoffs. As a result, Sue didn’t receive any college scholarship offers. She went on to play for the University of Washington.
However, her college career didn’t last long, either. After a coaching change, Bird decided that she wanted to transfer to Southern California despite the fact that she had already committed to Washington. Southern California refused to accept her because she had already signed a letter of intent with the University of Washington. This meant that Bird was unable to play at the collegiate level for the next two years.
Finally, in the summer before her junior year, Bird was able to transfer to California. Unfortunately, she had to sit out the upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules. Bird returned to the court in 1999 and helped lead the Golden Bears to their first NCAA national championship in over 50 years. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.
Becoming a Professional Athlete
After graduating from the University of California, Bird was selected with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2002 WNBA draft by the Seattle Storm. She played point guard for the team from 2002 to 2018. During that time, she was named an All-Star seven times and won two WNBA championships (2010, and Bird was named the Finals MVP in both instances).
Bird also led the league in assists in 2010 and 2011. In addition, she was named to the WNBA All-Decade First Team in 2010. While her pro career has been filled with accolades, it wasn’t always easy for her. In 2007, Bird tore her ACL and missed the entire season. Then, in 2008, she tore the same ACL again. This kept her out of the WNBA for two more years.
Sue Bird Net Worth
The career of this basketball phenom turned out to be very lucrative. Her net worth stands at a whopping $20 million. Bird earned $7.2 million in the WNBA during her playing career. She made another $8.5 million in endorsements during that time. Since retiring from the WNBA in 2018, Bird has become a commentator for ESPN. She also runs a basketball camp.
Bird has also invested in several businesses, including companies like The Athletic, a sports journalism platform, and Good Morning Snore, which makes sleep apnea devices. Bird also owns a vineyard in Napa Valley called SoleSlipper.
How Sue Bird Made Her Millions
The WNBA is the highest-paying women’s sports league in the world. Since it only lasts for about five months out of the year, WNBA athletes need to find ways to make money during the rest of the year. The majority of them earn extra cash through endorsements. During her career, Bird was sponsored by brands like Nike, Gatorade, and Red Bull.
She also served as an ambassador for a variety of other companies, including T-Mobile, Microsoft, and Alaska Airlines. Bird also took advantage of her growing fame to host and appear in various TV shows, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBA Shootaround on ESPN, and SportsCenter. She has also hosted several award shows, including the ESPY.
Other Investments of Sue Bird’s Wealth
While Bird has made many investments, she has also been responsible for giving back to the community. She partnered with the Enough Abuse Campaign (EAC) to help end child abuse, especially among Native American children. Sue was also the co-founder of the Hoops for Youth Program and has been an active member of the WNBA’s community outreach program, Hoops for Health, since 2007.
Beyond her philanthropic efforts, Bird owns a vineyard, called SoleSlipper, in Napa Valley, California. Bird made the decision to own a vineyard because she loved wine and wanted a business that would be low maintenance.
Throughout her career, Sue Bird has proven that she has what it takes to be a champion. She has played the game since she was a teenager and has worked hard to become the best player she can be. Sue is also a great example of what can happen when you stick to your goals and don’t give up on your dreams.
She had to overcome a lot of adversity during her childhood to become the person she is today. And that’s not all. Her net worth proves that she’s also a smart business person. She has invested in several companies, including wine vineyards and sports journalism platforms.