Former Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen, helped honor Bird’s commitment to helping children by presenting her with their foundation’s Humanitarian Award at a luncheon Tuesday in Seattle.
Sue Bird said she was startled when she answered the phone and a representative from the Moyer Foundation was on the other end. When it comes to charities, Bird admires the work of former Storm teammate Swin Cash and fellow Olympian Tamika Catchings, who have their own foundations.
Bird, who spent 10 consecutive WNBA offseasons playing in Russia, hasn’t started her own foundation because she wants to be hands-on. But since being drafted by Seattle in 2002, Bird has spent much time in the area reaching out to children.
Former Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen, helped honor Bird’s commitment by presenting her with their foundation’s Humanitarian Award at a luncheon Tuesday in Seattle.
“As athletes, as you mature and realize you’re very blessed, usually you work within your organization to find ways to give back,” Jamie Moyer said before the ceremony. “It’s cool to see other athletes do what they do in the community, and it’s very commendable. There’s a common value and passion that you see that’s cool.”
Most Read Sports Stories
- Commentary: Simone Biles was abandoned by U.S. Olympic officials, and the torment hasn't stopped
- Grading the Mariners at the trade deadline depends on how you feel about Jerry Dipoto's rebuilding plan
- The Tokyo Games went on. But American viewers aren't coming along.
- With trade deadline passed, Mariners rough up suddenly short-handed Rangers
- Wayne Rooney apologizes to family after photos surface
The Moyer Foundation started in Seattle in 2000 and offers support through free activity camps for children coping with grief or family addictions. Bird and foundation officials crossed paths while reaching out during the aftermath of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting in October.
Bird and Storm coaches Jenny Boucek and Brian Agler surprised the school’s girls basketball team at a practice in December. The eight-time WNBA All-Star jumped into the team’s drills and spoke afterward.
“You could feel the magnitude of what had gone on and what they were dealing with still,” Boucek said of the visit. Five M-P students who worked to support classmates through the tragedy were honored with the Moyer Foundation’s Kids Helping Kids award.
“As soon as Sue walked into the gym, the girls were speechless and smiling and giddy,” Boucek continued. “She cares deeply about people. It’s a gift she’s always had according to her father — the awareness to notice what’s going on with people and who’s not OK and then, in her own way, find a way to (comfort). It’s always very quiet and very Sue-like.”
Bird was awarded the WNBA’s monthly community assist award in June 2010 for her involvement with the Boys & Girls Club of King County. She’s kept in contact with young fans as they’ve grown — helping one through anorexia and family trouble.
“My parents are divorced, so I’ve had kids talk to me about that,” Bird said. “To me, anything involving children is super important, and I like being a role model. I’m not a saint, I live my life, but it’s something I enjoy.”
• The Storm waived center Waltiea Rolle on Tuesday. She appeared in six games last season, signing three short-term contracts with the team. Rolle is from the Bahamas and had trouble processing her visa to play in the States.