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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

UConn great Breanna Stewart: "Nothing compares to the Olympics."

Breanna Stewart was a bit of a USA Basketball veteran even before she played her first game at UConn.

If there was a team to be a part of, Stewart likely not only made the squad but probably was the team's top player.

On a conference call this afternoon set up by the WNBA, Stewart reflected on her first Olympic experience. It was hard to make out everything Stewart said and I was down in Fairfield County in a parking lot ready to conduct an interview for a high school football preview story and had a difficult time getting the moderator to hear by name and affiliation so I did not attempt at ask any questions. Still, here's some stuff you may be interested in.

"I think I learned a lot," Stewart said. "Obviously being able to be on that team where Catch (Tamika Catchings), Dee (Diana Taurasi) and Sue (Bird) were obviously been there a while, also on a team with 11 other great players and continuing to put the emphasis on putting your country before everything else,' Stewart said. "We weren't caught up in anything else besides winning, representing our country and just knowing how big that was on the Olympic level.

"I've (competed) on younger levels  but nothing compares to the Olympics.

"They exceeded my expectations. Having grown up being a part of USA Basketball at a young age, watching the actual Olympics when I was younger than that and to be able to be a part of it, you really can't expect that."

The Olympic break is about to come to an end and Stewart addressed that as well.

"We have 10 games and right now we have a chance to be in the playoffs and it just depends on what we do in the 10 games we still have level," Stewart said.

"Obviously I thought about the WNBA when I was with USA Basketball but at the same time, you turn a switch on and you turn it off. When the Olympic break started, I turned on the USA Basketball switch and now that you've won gold, now you put your focus back with the (Seattle) Storm. I think to be able to make the playoffs will be huge for the franchise and it is definitely a reachable goal
I was only like four or five months out from UConn but it was a great feeling."

Stewart turned a question about how previous U.S. national team training camps helped her make the transition to the WNBA into an opportunity to give UConn coach Geno Auriemma his due.

"Playing at UConn makes the transition a lot better than probably being at other schools just because the standards of Coach and everything else. "

Of course Stewart was asked about having the best selling jersey among WNBA players.

"I saw it this morning on Twitter," Stewart said. "I think it is a good deal, it just kind of shows the amount of support that I have gotten so far in the WNBA and hopefully it will continue and hopefully it is helping the league as well.

"I realize I have gotten to the point where people are wearing my jersey to games, to practice to their every day (lives), it is humbling and it is kind of cool."
I listened into Maya Moore time on the call as well but since she will be in Connecticut tomorrow when her Minnesota Lynx play the Connecticut Sun, I figured I would focus on what she had to say about the Olympics tomorrow.


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