Breanna Stewart

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Breanna Stewart writes she was molested as a child

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Breanna Stewart was molested for two years as a child, the WNBA star wrote in an essay for The Players’ Tribune titled “Me Too.”

Stewart wrote that an unnamed construction worker abused her from ages 9 to 11 at a house where she slept over all the time.

“I don’t know how to say this part,” she wrote. “I haven’t told many people. I’m not the most vulnerable person — I don’t talk about my feelings much — so this is uncomfortable.

“I was molested for years.”

She told her parents when she was 11, and the man was arrested and confessed, according to Stewart’s essay.

Stewart, 23 and the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team that won gold in Rio, said she was encouraged to come forward as part of the #MeToo movement by another Olympic champion.

“I was recently reading McKayla Maroney’s personal account of sexual abuse — one of many powerful stories the #metoo campaign has inspired — and I felt … less alone,” she wrote.

“I’ll never forgive him. But I’m not ashamed. I’m angry he took advantage of me as a child. I’ll never get that time back. And what memories I still have, I’ll never be able to erase them. Sometimes I wish for a few more black holes.”

Stewart, a star at UConn and now the Seattle Storm, said she came forward because she could save someone’s life.

“That’s why I’m writing this. This is bigger than me,” she wrote. “I’m still working through what comes next now that I have told my story. In sharing, I know that no matter how uncomfortable I typically am making things about myself, as a public survivor, I now assume a certain responsibility. So I’ll start by saying this: If you are being abused, tell somebody. If that person doesn’t believe you, tell somebody else. A parent, a family member, a teacher, a coach, a friend’s parent. Help is there.”

Breanna Stewart wants to play 5-on-5 and 3-on-3 in Tokyo

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Breanna Stewart has the versatility that lends well to the Olympic debut of 3-on-3 basketball at the Tokyo Games.

If Stewart has the opportunity, she would like to show off those skills. The Seattle Storm forward thinks she could go for two gold medals in 2020.

“If it’s possible to play both, I would love to play both,” Stewart said Sunday, two days after 3-on-3 was added to the Olympic program. “I mean, who wouldn’t?”

LeBron James wouldn’t.

“Growing up playing basketball, you play 3-on-3,” Stewart said before her Storm lost to the New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. “You go to the [YMCA], you play 3-on-3. It highlights people’s skill a lot more because it’s only six players on the court. It’s how you can be better than the defender.”

Stewart, 22, became the youngest U.S. Olympic women’s basketball player since 1988 in Rio. She won her fourth NCAA title with Connecticut and was drafted No. 1 overall by the Storm last year.

She may be limited in her 2020 Olympic choices.

FIBA hasn’t announced the qualifying or competition format for Olympic 3-on-3. A FIBA spokesman said Monday that process will take at least two more months to determine.

IOC sports director Kit McConnell said Friday that 3-on-3 players will be “specialists” without providing more specifics.

Even if FIBA allows WNBA or NBA players in 3-on-3, USA Basketball and, potentially, the pro leagues would have to sign off.

Recent Olympic women’s basketball tournaments have run from Day 1 through Day 15 of the Games. If that remains, it’s hard to imagine players taking part in the traditional 5-on-5, then switching to a 3-on-3 game, and then back again.

While no NBA players have taken part in FIBA-sanctioned global 3-on-3 competitions, some WNBA notables competed in 3-on-3 world championships while still in college (Skylar Diggins, Bria Hartley and Chiney Ogwumike in 2012, Jewell Loyd in 2014).

Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn’s top two scorers last season, earned 3-on-3 gold at the 2014 Youth Olympics.

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VIDEO: Diana Taurasi wants to play with Team USA, Sue Bird

U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team announced

Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi
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Sue BirdDiana Taurasi and Brittney Griner will lead the U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team in Rio, seeking a sixth straight title for Team USA.

USA Basketball announced the 12-woman roster, chosen by a committee, featuring a men’s or women’s national record nine players with Olympic experience:

Seimone Augustus (2008, 2012)
Sue Bird (2004, 2008, 2012)
Tamika Catchings (2004, 2008, 2012)
Tina Charles (2012)
Elena Delle Donne
Sylvia Fowles (2008, 2012)
Brittney Griner
Angel McCoughtry (2012)
Maya Moore (2012)
Breanna Stewart
Diana Taurasi (2004, 2008, 2012)
Lindsay Whalen (2012)

Candace Parker, a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, was the only players with Olympic experience who didn’t make the team from the 25 overall finalists announced in January. Other 2012 Olympians Asjha Jones and Swin Cash were not finalists.

Skylar Diggins was also among the finalists who didn’t make the team after being one of the final four cuts from the 2014 World Championship team.

Catchings, 36, is the oldest U.S. Olympic basketball player of all time, according to sports-reference.com.

Stewart, 21, is the youngest U.S. Olympic women’s basketball player since 1988. She recently won her fourth NCAA title with Connecticut and was drafted No. 1 overall by the Seattle Storm.

“Well, first of all when I saw that [national team director Carol] Callan was calling, I had a mini heart attack,” Stewart said, according to the Associated Press. “Because I’m like, ‘What’s going to happen? I don’t know! I don’t know!’ And then I answered it, and obviously I knew who was calling, but when she congratulated me, it was . I was speechless. I did not know what to say.”

Stewart played at the 2014 World Championship just after turning 20, recording a total of 36 minutes over six games and scoring 11 points, fewest on the team.

Catchings, Bird and Taurasi can tie former teammates Teresa Edwards and Lisa Leslie for the most Olympic team sport gold medals for an American.

Griner is on her first Olympic team after withdrawing from 2012 Olympic consideration due to a family illness and her summer school schedule, three months before the London Games.

“When I got the call, I was speechless,” Griner said, according to the AP. “Just knowing that this will be my first Olympics that I’ll be able to go to and play in, I’ve always said that that’s the biggest stage you could play on. It doesn’t get any bigger than putting on that jersey and playing for gold.”

Bird, Taurasi, Moore, Charles and Griner started every game at the 2014 World Championship, which Catchings, Delle Donne and Fowles missed due to injuries.

The U.S. women’s basketball team has won 41 straight Olympic games since losing to the Unified Team in the Barcelona 1992 semifinals.

MORE: Olympic basketball groups announced