Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart Among WNBA Players Featured in 2022 SI Swimsuit Edition

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 9, 2022

SAITAMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 08:  Breanna Stewart #10 and Sue Bird #6 of Team United States celebrate the play against Team Japan during the second half of the Women's Basketball final game on day sixteen of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games at Saitama Super Arena on August 08, 2021 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

WNBA stars Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Nneka Ogwumike, DiDi Richards and Te'a Cooper are among the models for Sports Illustrated's newest Swimsuit Issue.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit @SI_Swimsuit

The W is in the house! 🏀 The women of WNBA traded in their uniforms for swimsuits &amp; made all our swishes come true. Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Nneka Ogwumike, Te'a Cooper &amp; Didi Richards will be featured in our 2022 issue-hitting newsstands on May 19th. <a href="https://t.co/4cf2Jgqg9w">https://t.co/4cf2Jgqg9w</a> <a href="https://t.co/09cutvJl5V">pic.twitter.com/09cutvJl5V</a>

"The WNBA has always been at the forefront of social issues," Stewart told Dorothy J. Gentry for SI. "And we continue to be leaders in this space because we always have fought for more—and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon."

Bird told Gentry that Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue "has been iconic and has represented a lot for women."

"Now you are seeing an evolution in what that can mean and what that can look like, and I think the WNBA players being a part of that is what makes it special," she said. "There is no better group of women to showcase that evolution."

Bird is arguably the greatest point guard in WNBA history, a four-time champion who is the league's all-time leader in assists (3,064).

Two of those titles came alongside Stewart, who has lived up to the lofty expectations she set by being the NCAA tournament's Most Outstanding Player in all four of her years at Connecticut.

Ogwumike is a six-time All-Star and lifted the MVP trophy in 2016, the same year she and Candace Parker guided the Los Angeles Sparks to a championship. The 31-year-old is also the president of the Women's National Basketball Players Association, having played a key role in negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement.

Cooper and Richards are both looking to leave their mark on the WNBA.

Cooper, who was cut by the Sparks on the eve of the regular season, averaged 9.2 points and 1.6 assists in her first two years with the team. Richards put up 2.3 points and 1.1 rebounds as a reserve for the New York Liberty in 2021.