The comeback is always stronger than the setback. Breanna Stewart knows this from experience.
When the Seattle Storm forward was at the height of her WNBA superstardom, fresh off the franchise’s third championship title and 2018 Player of the Year nod, the unexpected happened.
Stewart ruptured her right Achilles while playing for Russia’s Dynamo Kursk in the Euroleague title game, approximately five weeks before the 2019 WNBA season opener.
It’s been a whirlwind since Stewart returned home from Sopron, Hungary. She couldn’t walk for three months; she couldn’t play basketball for seven months.
But the toughest part of the comeback was the mental side. Now, it's Stewie's time to shine.
On Tuesday, Stewart took home the coveted AP Comeback Player of the Year trophy, after averaging 19.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game for the second-seeded Seattle Storm.
She was also a unanimous choice for the AP’s All-WNBA first team, joining MVP A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas), Candace Parker (Los Angeles), Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago) and Arike Ogunbowale (Dallas).
Stewie’s resurgence has been everything Seattle could have hoped for and more. She has made an astonishing case for league MVP, shooting an efficient 45.1% from the floor, 36.8% from 3-point range and 89.4% from the free throw line. Stewart was also named Western Conference Player of the Week twice.
The 26-year-old has also breathed new life into the Storm, who clinched a postseason berth in 2019 without Stewart or point guard Sue Bird, but lost in the second-round to the Los Angeles Sparks. Now that both players have returned, Seattle has a tangible chance to hoist the WNBA championship trophy for a fourth time.
Breanna Stewart doesn’t live by odds—she defies them. If anyone has proven that setbacks can be turned into a success story, it’s the 2020 Comeback Player of the Year,
But if odds are in the Storm’s favor, count on Seattle to bring another WNBA championship trophy home from the Wubble to the Emerald City this season.