It’s been a year of milestones for WNBA star Breanna Stewart. Last month, in advance of her fourth All-Star Game appearance, the Seattle Storm forward released her debut signature sneaker, the Stewie 1, with Puma, the first publicly available signature shoe of a WNBA player in more than a decade. She’s currently leading the league in points per game, something she’s never accomplished in her six WNBA seasons. Stewart made her SI Swimsuit Issue debut earlier this spring and won her second Olympic gold medal last August. She may note, though, that the biggest accomplishment of the year was the birth of daughter, Ruby, who arrived via surrogate two days after the Olympic final.
“Life has changed in a lot of ways now that I’m a mom,” says Stewart, who married partner Marta Xargay last July. “The first is just making sure that we’re doing everything and anything we can for Ruby to make sure that she is learning, experiencing so many different things and is obviously a happy baby and a healthy baby. She’s the best thing that’s happened to us. She has this happy scream where she’s just like screaming and she just loves it because she’s just hearing herself.”
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Becoming a mother was a journey in itself for Stewart, but it’s one which she now revels in. “I will say the best thing I ever did was freeze my eggs. There’s no right or wrong way to do things,” says the 27-year-old, who froze her eggs while recovering from an Achilles rupture that caused her to miss the entire 2019 season. “Bringing Ruby home for the first time, we were scared of everything because I don't wanna hurt her. I don’t wanna break her. I don’t wanna kill her. How do I do all these things and make it so she’s O.K.?” Stewart found she could trust the process and let Ruby guide them. “Babies are a lot stronger than you think. Ruby guided us in what she needed and we just kind of figured it out from there.”
Participating in the SI Swim photo shoot — Stewart was photographed with fellow WNBA players Sue Bird, Nneka Ogwumike, DiDi Richards and T’ea Cooper — was a different route for Stewart but she had an end goal in mind. “When people see my photos, I want them to see the strong, powerful mom that I am,” she says. “When they see my photos I want them to see that first. Think about my career in basketball second. I think that sometimes they get intertwined as they should, but realizing that I’m a human being and a powerful woman first, and that also helps me be the basketball player that I wanna be.”