Stewart finished college with a 151-5 record and four consecutive NCAA titles. In the WNBA, she is averaging a league-high 9.7 rebounds per game and is fourth in scoring (19.5 points).
Storm rookie Breanna Stewart won an ESPY on Wednesday for best female athlete. The first-time honor was based on Stewart’s college senior season where she won a fourth straight NCAA championship for the University of Connecticut.
Affectionately called “Stewie,” the 6 foot 4 forward was in Los Angeles to accept the award. After the obligatory thanks to ESPN, Stewart used her speech to comment on the disparity in media coverage for professional female athletes versus college female stars.
A five-year study published in 2015 showed that the overall quantity of coverage of women’s sports in televised sports news and highlights shows remained low in comparison to similar research analyzed in the 1990s.
“During my time in college, I received much media attention,” Stewart told the audience in Los Angeles and global telecast. “I am grateful for that. But now that I am in the WNBA playing with other amazing female athletes, I am trying to understand why we as professional athletes don’t receive anywhere near the fame. This has to change.”
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Stewart was the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft. In its 20th season, the WNBA is the longest-running professional women’s team sports league in America. ESPN owns the WNBA’s primary broadcasting rights.
During a historic career at UConn, Stewart had two undefeated seasons (2013-14 and 2015-16). She was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in all four of her team’s title runs and won AP Player of the Year three straight seasons.
In the WNBA, Stewart is averaging a league-high 9.7 rebounds per game and is fourth in scoring (19.5 points). She was named the league’s Rookie of the Month for May and June. But the Storm is 7-13 overall this season.
Seattle hosts Washington (9-12) on Friday at KeyArena. The Mystics are on a four-game losing streak.
“Equality for all takes each of us making an effort,” Stewart said Wednesday. “Together let’s be better.”