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WNBA stars Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Te’a Cooper, & more pose for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue


The WNBA is putting the ‘sports’ in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue this year, with five of its biggest stars posing for the new issue.

On Monday, the magazine shared the first shots of Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Nneka Ogwumike, Te’a Cooper, and DiDi Richards looking incredible in coordinated black swimsuits.

‘The W is in the house!’ the magazine wrote on Instagram. ‘The women of @wnba traded in their uniforms for swimsuits and made all our swishes come true. 

The WNBA is putting the ‘sports’ in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue this year, with five of its biggest stars posing for the new issue

Seattle Storm star Sue Bird, 41, rocks a sporty one-shoulder two-piece in the issue

Seattle Storm star Sue Bird, 41, rocks a sporty one-shoulder two-piece in the issue

The new issue, which hits newsstands on May 19th, will feature all five of the women sporting sexy swimwear.

Seattle Storm star Sue Bird, 41, rocks a sporty one-shoulder two-piece, while her teamate Breanna Stewart, 27, shows some skin in a cut-out one-piece.

Los Angeles Sparks players Nneka Ogwumike, 31, and Te’a Cooper, 25, wear one-pieces as well, while New York Liberty’s DiDi Richards, 23, slips a black mesh top over her string bikini.

‘These players not only dominate on the court but are tirelessly leading the charge in speaking out on social justice issues — fighting for racial justice and equality and working together to create sustainable change,’ said editor MJ Day.

The fierce fivesome were shot by photographer Laretta Houston, with hair by Sophia Porter and makeup by Renee Garnes.

New York Liberty's DiDi Richards, 23, said it has been 'a dream my entire life' to pose for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and it's 'crazy' to get the opportunity

New York Liberty’s DiDi Richards, 23, said it has been ‘a dream my entire life’ to pose for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and it’s ‘crazy’ to get the opportunity

Los Angeles Sparks player Te'a Cooper, 25, said she never imagined she'd one day be in these pages

Los Angeles Sparks player Te’a Cooper, 25, said she never imagined she’d one day be in these pages

Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart, 27, shows some skin in a cut-out one-piece

Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart, 27, shows some skin in a cut-out one-piece

Los Angeles Sparks player Nneka Ogwumike, 31, said: 'It was very empowering to be a part of this because of the people I did it with'

Los Angeles Sparks player Nneka Ogwumike, 31, said: ‘It was very empowering to be a part of this because of the people I did it with’

The WNBA players are proud to bring representation to the upcoming issue.

‘This is who we are; this is the makeup of our league,’ Bird told the magazine. 

‘We represent a variety of things: of course women, women of color, members of the LGBTQIA2+ community and much more.

‘The [Swimsuit] issue for so many years 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. There is no better group of women to showcase that evolution.’

Cooper, meanwhile, looked back on when she’d see the issue as a kid — and how she never imagined she’d one day be in its pages.

‘It says “sports” but they always looked like models, so I would have never thought one day I would be one,’ she said. 

The WNBA players are proud to bring representation to the upcoming issue

The WNBA players are proud to bring representation to the upcoming issue 

WNBA stars Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Te'a Cooper, & more pose for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

‘This is who we are; this is the makeup of our league,’ Bird (not pictured) told the magazine

WNBA stars Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Te'a Cooper, & more pose for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

‘It says “sports” but they always looked like models, so I would have never thought one day I would be one,’ said Cooper (not pictured(

WNBA stars Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Te'a Cooper, & more pose for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

WNBA stars Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Te'a Cooper, & more pose for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

‘These players not only dominate on the court but are tirelessly leading the charge in speaking out on social justice issues – fighting for racial justice and equality and working together to create sustainable change,’ said editor MJ Day.

‘It was very empowering to be a part of this because of the people I did it with. Everybody’s story was different and just spending time with them, us all being in the WNBA as professionals was overwhelming.’

‘It’s all so amazing to see and understand we are living in history. I love the differences we celebrate and moving them forward,’ added Ogwumike.

Richards also said it has been ‘a dream my entire life’ to pose for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and it’s ‘crazy’ to get the opportunity.

‘It was very humbling. My emotions were all over the place. I was like “Am I even supposed to be here?”‘ she said.

While the issue is mostly filled with models, athletes have been featured over the years.

The fierce fivesome were shot by photographer Laretta Houston, with hair by Sophia Porter and makeup by Renee Garnes

The fierce fivesome were shot by photographer Laretta Houston, with hair by Sophia Porter and makeup by Renee Garnes

While the issue is mostly filled with models, athletes have been featured over the years

While the issue is mostly filled with models, athletes have been featured over the years

While the issue is mostly filled with models, athletes have been featured over the years

Past athletes to model have included Lindsey Vonn, Alex Morgan, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and Ronda Rousey

Past athletes to model have included Lindsey Vonn, Alex Morgan, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and Ronda Rousey

Danica Patrick was one of the first in 2009, followed by five athelets — including skier Lindsey Vonn — in 2010.

US women’s soccer star Alex Morgan made her debut in 2012 and went on to cover the magazine in 2019.

Other sports stars to pose include gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman, tennis players Caroline Wozniacki and Genie Bouchard, wrestler Ronda Rousey, and golfer Paige Spiranac.

Serena Williams has appeared, as have MMA fighter Paige VanZant, surfer Malia Manuel, and soccer players Abby Dahlkemper and Megan Rapinoe.



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