Breanna Stewart Is Making an Impact

With increasing visibility in the social advocacy space, Breanna Stewart is an entrepreneur to watch

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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.

WHAT'S NOW: The WNBA’s best players don’t have an off-season, and Stewart is currently playing in Russia for Dynamo Kursk, where the compensation is much better than in the WNBA. Even so, she’s managed to remain an active advocate for those affected by sexual assault and has partnered with RAINN, the national sexual assault hotline. She’s also a budding entrepreneur: She will appear on an episode of ESPN’s series The Boardroom, a show launched by Kevin Durant, which features athletes who have gained prominence as investors.

WHAT'S NEXT: Last fall, Stewart and Durant did a few press stops together while campaigning for a new SuperSonics franchise in Seattle. (The franchise moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City ten years ago.) It remains to be seen whether Stewart and Durant will be involved in that—more and more athletes have become involved in minority team ownership in the past few years—but it’s something to watch out for. 

Other than the Sonics, look for Stewart to keep increasing her footprint as an investor, entrepreneur and advocate in 2019.

This piece is part of our monthlong series featuring the 30 Most Entrepreneurial Athletes. For other entries in the series, head to our 30MEA page.

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