Central New York native Breanna Stewart is adding another feat to her illustrious career.
Stewie is one of five WNBA stars featured in the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. The magazine released photos Monday showing Stewart in a black swimsuit, along with her Seattle Storm teammate Sue Bird, Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike, New York Liberty guard DiDi Richards, and recent free agent Te’a Cooper.
“The WNBA has always been at the forefront of social issues,” Stewart told SI Swimsuit writer Dorothy J. Gentry. “And we continue to be leaders in this space because we always have fought for more—and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.”
Stewart and her fellow basketball stars were photographed by Laretta Houston on the beaches of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The magazine said it wanted to celebrate the WNBA’s 25th anniversary and selected the five athletes to represent the league’s diversity and inclusion, as well as highlight their off-the-court efforts as activists.
“These players not only dominate on the court, but are tirelessly leading the charge in speaking out on social-justice issues, fighting for racial justice and equality and working together to create sustainable change,” SI Swimsuit Editor-In-Chief MJ Day said in a statement.
Stewart, 27, has frequently been recognized as an activist, voicing support for LGBTQ rights and Black Lives Matter; calling for the NCAA to promote women’s college basketball more; promoting body positivity in ESPN Magazine’s The Body issue and bravely shared her experience with sexual abuse. She was also named the 2020 SI Sportsperson of the Year and made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2019.
The Cicero-North Syracuse High School graduate is also incredibly successful on the court, winning four NCAA titles with UConn, two WNBA championships, the league’s 2018 MVP award, two Olympic gold medals for Team USA, and championships in the Russian Premier League and EuroLeague.
But Stewart says she’s most proud of being a mom. She welcomed her first child, a daughter named Ruby Mae, with her wife, Marta Xargay Casademont, last summer.
“I want to be the best role model I can for Ruby,” Stewart told Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. “I want her to see the impact women play in society — in sports and outside of sports.”
The 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition hits newsstands May 19. Visit swimsuit.si.com for more.
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