By Barry Janoff
Financial terms were not shared.
Stewart last week was selected by the Seattle Storm as the WNBA's overall No. 1 pick, which came on the heels of Stewart leading the University of Connecticut to its fourth consecutive NCAA Women's Div. I basketball championship.
As a member of the Storm, Stewart already is a walking billboard with a jersey that includes logos from WNBA marquee partner Verizon and league apparel provider adidas, as well as team jersey sponsor Swedish Medical Center, which last week signed a multi-year deal with the team.
In addition to Stewart, Nike Basketball also signed incoming WNBA rookies Rachel Banham (selected fourth overall by the Connecticut Sun), Aerial Powers (selected fifth overall by the Dallas Wings), Jonquel Jones (selected sixth by the Los Angeles Sparks, then had her rights traded to the Sun). and Tiffany Mitchell (drafted ninth to the Indiana Fever.)
According to Nike, "The Nike family of athletes is eager for Stewart to join them, and many have compared her versatility and style of play to that of (Nike endorser and NBA All-Star) Kevin Durant. She's proven herself a leader with a strong work ethic and a pure love of the game, who will be an invaluable addition to the team."
Among her accomplishments, Stewart helped lead the Huskies to record four straight NCAA titles, became to only player ever honored as Final Four MOP four times (2013-14-15-16), was a three-time unanimous AP All-America First Team pick (2014-15-16), and earned AP, USBWA and Naismith national Player of Year honors in her sophomore, junior and senior campaigns.
Her college stats include 17.6 average, 7.8 rebounds, and three blocks.
“My parents are my role models. They taught me the value of hard work,” Stewart said in a statement. “The moment that rebounding for my dad at the YMCA as a kid turned into him rebounding for me was special for us both — it showed me that loyalty and support go a long way.
“Being strong and bold while carrying yourself with humility and confidence is something I hope to share with young kids,” said Stewart.
Stewart is expected to be a member of the U.S. Women's National Basketball Team participating in the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The Seattle Mariners said that Stewart would throw out the first pitch on April 30 when they face the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals at 6:10 p.m. PDT that evening.
The Seattle Storm regular season begins on May 15 against the Los Angeles Sparks.
Stewart is represented by Lindsay Kagawa Colas of Los Angeles-based Wasserman.
PHOTOS: SEATTLE STORM