(WTNH)–What, you thought Breanna Stewart wasn’t just going to step out onto the court in her WNBA debut and start dominating?
Like she didn’t just spend the last four years becoming a transcendent star, winning for national championships, hanging out with Barack Obama on a regular basis and making the rest of women’s basketball look like the computer in NBA Live ’98?
The No. 1 pick of the Seattle Storm balled out in her debut against the Los Angeles Sparks at the Staples Center on Sunday, scoring 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting and logging 33-plus minutes, the second-most on the team. She also picked up six rebounds and three assists, and shot 5-of-8 from the free throw line. Unfortunately for Stewie and teammate Sue Bird, also a Huskies legend, the Storm were smashed by the Sparks, 96-66.
“I felt good. As each quarter went on, I felt more comfortable in the game and with what we were trying to do,” Stewart told reporters after the game. “Obviously, there were a lot of mistakes. That’s going to happen. But it was fun. Being matched up with a team like them, they’re great.”
“For my first game, it’s one I’ll remember. We lost, and that sucks. But I think there is a lot of good to come out of it as well.”
As a rookie out of UConn, obviously, Stewart isn’t used to losing. In her four years at Connecticut, she lost exactly four games–and only one after her freshman year, when a downtrodden 27-3 UConn squad won the national title. She’s also won five gold medals for Team USA, including a world championship at the 2014 FIBA games in Turkey.
She told ESPN.com’s Michelle Voepel that she can’t even remember the last time her team was down 30 in a game, or if it had ever happened before.
“It is a little weird; it’s a different perspective,” Stewart said. “But I think that at this level, it’s going to be a challenge. I haven’t been in a position where I’ve been down 20 and had to fight back.”
After the game, Sparks head coach Brian Agler had some nice things to say about the three-time NCAA Player of the Year.
“I think she has a chance to be a special player,” Agler said. “The game is different; it’s a little more physical. But in the second half, she sort of settled in and found her spots. She did some things on the move that impressed me.”