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Syosset native Sue Bird still flying high with WNBA’s Seattle Storm

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird controls the ball

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird controls the ball against the New York Liberty in a WNBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, June 11, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Sue Bird looked like her old self, not an old player, swishing shots and dishing for assists.

Seattle fell to the Liberty, 94-86, on Sunday at the Garden, but the Storm’s point guard had 21 points and 10 assists. She shot 8-for-11 from the floor, including 4-for-5 on three-pointers.

The 36-year-old Syosset native is the oldest player in the WNBA.

“Eventually it would happen, right?” Bird said. “I think it’s more of a joke now in our locker room and beyond. They’ve never seen ‘Something About Mary,’ and I don’t know how to do [the dance to] ‘Juju on That Beat.’ So it goes hand in hand.”

Bird had her fifth operation on her left knee in April, and the arthroscopic procedure cost her the first two games of the season. But she has returned to form and isn’t ruling out being around in 2020 and reuniting with another former UConn star, Diana Taurasi, to chase a fifth Olympic gold medal.

“For me, the way I feel in terms of health and where you are in two, three years, it’s tough to say,” Bird said. “I can also tell you that I think I can speak for both of us when I say if we’re both playing at a high level and feel good and we’re asked to represent our country, it would be really hard to say no.”

In the wake of the surgery, Bird said she still has “a long way to go” in terms of conditioning, feel and rhythm. But the two-time NCAA and WNBA champion is leading the league at 8.1 assists per game for the 5-4 Storm and is 132 short of passing Ticha Penicheiro’s league assist record of 2,599.

“I think in some ways, I feel like I’m on borrowed time,” Bird said. “I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot in my career. I’m really thankful and grateful to still be playing. And then I have days where I wake up and I say, ‘The Olympics are only three years away.’ So I kind of go back and forth and just try to dig in, you know, one game, one day at a time.”

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