During this past WNBA season, Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart took her game to another level. Stewart was named MVP of the league and dominated the WNBA Finals, where a Stewart-led Storm overwhelmed the Washington Mystics in a 3-0 sweep. (Stewart won Finals MVP.) The 24-year-old displayed a Kevin Durant-like versatility, scoring from all levels of the floor and using her length and athleticism to disrupt the Mystics’ talented frontcourt.
But to summarize Stewart's in-sport success over the past two years is to tell only part of the story. In 2017, Stewart wrote a gripping essay for The Players' Tribune, detailing her traumatizing personal experience with sexual assault. The piece spearheaded a larger national conversation and displayed the depth of Stewart’s social impact; the piece made it easier for others to come forward and made Stewart feel that “it was another weight lifted off her chest.” Between that piece and Stewart’s decision to attend the LAX protests in the wake of the Trump administration’s travel ban, Stewart has become an increasingly visible agent for change, a position she’ll continue to lean into in 2019.