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Sue Bird Talks To Kidzworld

Picture of Sue Bird playing a WNBA game for the Seattle Storm.
Sue Bird
Photo of Sue Bird, who will be playing basketball for the USA at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Sue Bird
By: Simon

Sue Bird is one of the top female basketball players in the world. She won NCAA Basketball titles with the University of Conneticut in 2000 and 2002 and is now the starting point guard for the Seattle Storm of the WNBA. Simon recently talked to Sue Bird about playing in the WNBA, going for an Olympic gold medal and how to shoot free throws.

Simon: So are you ready to play basketball at the Summer Olympics in Athens?
Sue Bird: The only thing I've done as far as the Olympics go is pack. Once the WNBA takes a break, I'll concentrate on the Olympics. The Seattle Storm is my number one priority right now. We've got a great group of young players going over there, so we're gonna have to represent. I don't even know who's in our pool. I just know that New Zealand's our first game - I haven't even thought past that.

Simon: You've become one of the biggest stars in the WNBA. Any tips for kids thinking about becoming a pro basketball player?
Sue Bird: If that's your dream you have to really work hard for it, but always make sure you're having fun. If it's not fun, then you really have to re-think what you want to do. You always want to be able to smile at the end of the day and have fun out there. I guarantee that if you have fun while you're playing, you'll keep getting better.

Simon: When you were a kid, who were your favorite basketball players?
Sue Bird: When I was a kid, there weren't really any female basketball stars back then. But I liked Larry Bird and John Stockton. I got asked a million times when I was a kid if I was related to Larry Bird, so I feel like I know the guy.

Simon: Do you ever wish you could fly like a bird?
Sue Bird: Yeah, that would be great. Then I could dunk.

Simon: What sort of things do you like to do when you're not playing basketball?
Sue Bird: I'm still just like a pretty regular kid. I go to movies, listen to music, hang out with my friends, I talk on my cell phone all the time. The same old, same old.

Simon: I have lots of problems hitting free throws when I shoot hoops. Any tips you could give me to help me shoot better from the free-throw line?
Sue Bird: Always have a routine, whether it's dribbling the ball three times or one time or no times. You want to develop a routine, stick with it, and never change it. If it's not working, you can maybe adjust it, but never change it. You always want to have a rhythm shooting from the free throw line. On the free throw line, there's a dot - it's a nail. And when they make basketball courts, they always line up that nail with the rim. So that nail is exactly straight with the rim. I'm right handed so I always line up my right foot with that nail because it means I'm exactly straight with the rim.

Sue Bird has just put out a new book called Be Yourself, in which she talks about growing up and becoming one of the real pioneers of women's basketball in the United States. To buy Sue Bird's new book, head to www.positivelyforkids.com.

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