Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart signed with 2018 EuroLeague third-place finisher Dynamo Kursk, she announced in an interview with ESPN’s Julie Foudy.
Upon becoming a pro, Stewart spent two her first two seasons overseas with Shanghai Baoshan Dahua in the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association. Sylvia Fowles and Liz Cambage were among the stars to precede her in Shanghai. During the 2017-18 campaign, Stewart led the team in points (28.1) and rebounds (11.8).
Stewart explained in 2016 she preferred the WCBA’s shorter season. At the time, she had essentially played nonstop, between her senior season at Connecticut, the WNBA and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Now into her third season in the WNBA, Stewart likely feels more comfortable with the jump to Europe.
Stewart was a Rookie of the Year and an All-Star in her first two years in the WNBA. She might add a Most Valuable Player Award to her resume in 2018.
Her 22.0 points per game lead the league, and she sits ninth in rebounds (7.8). In addition, her 2.4 win shares are tied for first with Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner, according to Basketball Reference.
Jewell Loyd is enjoying a career year in Seattle, but Stewart’s consistency on a game-by-game basis is a large reason for the Storm’s 8-4 start. They sit third in the WNBA entering Friday.
Whether or not she captures the WNBA’s highest individual honor, Stewart is a lock for her second straight All-Star appearance in July.
Kursk will hope her present form carries over to the 2018-19 European season.
The team is coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Russian Premier League, losing to UMMC Ekaterinburg in each of the past two finals. Ekaterinburg also ended Kursk’s run in the 2017-18 EuroLeague semifinals. Kursk defeated Turkish side Yakin Dogu Universitesi in the third-place game.
Depending on how deep into the playoffs the Storm get, Stewart may have little time to rest before she’ll be needed for her new team. The 2018 WNBA regular season ends Aug. 19, and the WNBA Finals will wrap up Sept. 16 if the series goes the full five games.