Sue Bird And Kristen Mann

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Bird was recruited by a number of teams including Stanford and Vanderbilt. She considered UConn the favorite, but she began to waver when Keirsten Walters and Brianne Stepherson, both point guards, announced commitments to UConn. She worried that there might not be room for her to play. However, when Stepherson changed her mind and committed to Boston College, Bird committed to UConn. In addition to increased opportunity, UConn was close to home and had a program with a winning tradition like Christ the King. Eight games into her freshman season, Bird suffered a torn ACL. Since she had played more than 20% of team's games the 1998–1999 season, she was not able to redshirt. In her sophomore season (1999–2000) she came back to lead the team to a 36–1 record, the Big East Championship, and the 2000 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament. The Huskies went 32–3 the following (her junior) season with the final loss coming against UConn's Big East rival Notre Dame in the Final Four. This game would be the last loss in Bird's college career, as the Huskies went an undefeated 39–0 in her 2001–2002 senior season. In that season, she also won the Wade Trophy and Naismith Award as College Player of the Year.