NCAA Women's Basketball

Sue Bird is returning to international basketball as ambassador for 2026 World Cup

(AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson, File)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) Sue Bird loves telling this story. She’s on a plane, flying home from the Athens Olympics, and a flight attendant approached to ask if the pilot could see her gold medal. The next thing Bird knew, the medal was being passed up and down the aisles so everyone could touch it.

She was an ambassador of the game on that flight. And now the title is official.

FIBA formally introduced Bird, the now-retired U.S. great, on Friday as the global ambassador for the 2026 Women’s Basketball World Cup that will be played in Berlin. Bird takes the role from Pau Gasol, who served as ambassador for the 2022 women's tournament in Sydney.


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