Storm's Breanna Stewart Named Commissioner's Cup MVP Days After Winning Gold with Team USA in Tokyo
Breanna Stewart helped lead her team to another victory!
Just five days after winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics with Team USA, the Seattle Storm star was named MVP in the WNBA's inaugural Commissioner's Cup — which was played between the top teams from the Eastern and Western conference following the first half of the regular season.
During Thursday's game, Stewart scored 17 points to help her team triumph over the Connecticut Sun, winning 79-57.
"I think that despite everything from this week and being jet-lagged and stuff, once we got through our warm-up, it was a regular scheduled program, I would say," the two-time Olympic gold medalist told reporters after the big win, per ESPN. "We were just aggressive. We knew what this game meant and we wanted to kind of hit them first.
The victory also meant that each team member received a $30,000 bonus, with Stewart getting an extra $5,000.
"I think we were one of the few teams that right from the jump, we are like, 'Oh, this is a Commissioner's Cup game,' and every time we won, we'd talk about it afterwards, like, 'Commissioner's Cup, one step closer to that money,'" said teammate, and fellow Olympian, Sue Bird. "Definitely we were talking about it all year.
Stewart and Bird were joined at the Olympics by fellow Storm teammate Jewell Loyd. Additionally, their teammates Ezi Magbegor and Stephanie Talbot played for Australia and were defeated by the U.S. in the quarterfinals.
One player missing from Tokyo was Katie Lou Samuelson, who had to sit out after testing positive for COVID-19 just before the start of the tournament.
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"I am devastated to share that after getting sick with COVID-19, I will not be able to go an compete in Tokyo," the Seattle Storm forward wrote on Instagram at the time."I am especially heartbroken as I am fully vaccinated and took every precaution, but I know everything will work itself out in the way it's supposed to."
However, Samuelson was back in action to help her team on Thursday. "I'm just happy to get going again in games. It's been a really long couple of weeks, so it's nice to have something to focus on," she told reporters ahead of the game, according to ESPN.