Sue Bird will be serving as an ambassador for the 2026 World Cup when she returns to international basketball.
She enjoys sharing this story. She’s on a plane, flying home from the Athens Olympics, and an airline steward drew nearer to inquire as to whether the pilot could see her gold decoration. The medal was being passed down the aisles so that everyone could touch it before Bird knew it.
On that flight, she represented the game as an ambassador. Additionally, the title is now binding.
On Friday, the now-retired American great was officially announced by FIBA as the global ambassador for the 2026 Women’s Basketball World Cup, which will be held in Berlin. Bird succeeds Pau Gasol, who was the ambassador for the Sydney women’s tournament in 2022.
Over her two decades with the women’s national team, Bird has won nine major international gold medals, five at the Olympics and four at the World Cup, where she also won a bronze medal in 2006. In 2021, she was named USA Basketball’s women’s athlete of the year.
That obviously does not include her four WNBA titles, 13 WNBA all-star selections, five EuroLeague titles, two NCAA championships at Connecticut, state and national high school championships, co-flagbearer for the United States at the Tokyo Olympics, and a plethora of other awards. The Press Association