Last April, it was announced that former WNBA Finals MVP Breanna Stewart suffered a Ruptured Achilles injury in last year’s EuroLeague championship game. She would later be ruled out for the entire 2019-20 WNBA season but was expected to make a full recovery.
After the news broke, Seattle Storms CEO and General Manager Alisha Valavanis stated, that “This is a tough time for Stewie and our hearts go out to her,” said Valavanis via WNBA.com. “The Storm family is behind her, and we will support Stewie in every way we can as she begins her journey back to the court.”
Aces center Liz Cambage knows precisely what Stewart was going through with the recovery process with her Achilles injury because she ruptured her Achilles tendon back in September of 2014. Last season, I asked Cambage how she was to keep her spirits up during the recovery process.
“It’s not hard (to keep your spirits up), especially when your job is to be an athlete and to be working out all day and be running around. When you have that taken away from you, you learn a lot about yourself and your body, but sometimes it is a blessing in disguise that we need to take a break and look after ourselves better. Going through it was tough, but now I look back on it as a blessing,” Cambage told me.
On January 8, 2020, it was announced that Stewart would be returning to the court to play exhibition games against UConn on January 27 and against Louisville on February 2, 2020. In a previous interview with the Associated Press, Stewart shared that the was shooting to return from in February.
“I’m trying to be back to play in February,” said Stewart. “Even if I can’t play, I want to be there to work out and be with the team.”
A’Ja Wilson Weighed-in on Stewart Uplifting the League With her Return
Over NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago, Aces forward A’Ja Wilson took part in a Mountain Dew sponsored event entitled Courtside Studios, and at the end of the conclusion, she took part in several interviews. During our chat, we spoke about a variety of different topics, including the impact Breanna Stewart’s return will have on the WNBA.
“It’s pretty cool. I recently played with her with the US National team. So, just to have her back from an injury that a lot of people were shaken up over. I know for myself, but just to see her persevere and push through, and her confidence is still there,” said Wilson. “I think that it’s key to her and also our league. I feel like we are still growing, and we are so young that it like how we can deal with this, and it takes all of us. So, to have her back on the floor, it’s going to be special for her as well as our league.”
Last week, according to WNBA.com, the Seattle Storm and Breanna Stewart agreed on a contract extension, but the terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Stewie is a special player, a competitor at the most elite level and that was evident, once again, as she worked relentlessly to return to the court,” said Storm CEO and General Manager Alisha Valavanis. “The Storm franchise, the fans, and the entire city are excited for Stewie’s return this season.”
Stewart stated that her first priority was to just get back on the court as her motivation. However, now, it is about winning more championships.
“At first, it was about getting back on the court, that was the motivation,” said Stewart. “Now, it’s beyond that, it’s about continued growth and supporting my teammates as we come back together in Seattle. I’m back and signed up to chase more Championships.”
On February 14, 2020, ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel reported that Stewart signed with UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia and will make a return to EuroLeague this season. The WNBA and the WNBA Players Union just agreed on a new CBA, which raised the salaries in the league, but Stewart shared that it was financially feasible to play overseas.
“For me, it’s something that makes sense financially,” Stewart, 25, said last month before the UConn exhibition. “Playing EuroLeague is a very high level. And my window is short. Maybe when I’m 30, I won’t want to [play overseas]. But right now I want to play as much as I can.”