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Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird grace cover of NBA 2K23 WNBA edition

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Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi and Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird have been linked for greater than 20 years, playing together at UConn after which helping the U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team win five gold medals.

Now, the basketball greats will appear on the quilt of the NBA 2K23 WNBA edition video game that might be released on Sept. 9.

“You already know you might have all these little girls playing basketball, and so they can actually start gaming now with you realize, hopefully, two of their favorite players on the quilt,” Taurasi said. “It just shows you the way far gaming and girls’s basketball has come.”

It’s the second straight 12 months that the video game will feature a WNBA athlete on one in every of its covers; Candace Parker was on it last 12 months.

“The response to NBA 2K’s first WNBA Edition last 12 months was overwhelmingly positive and a testament to the W’s growing audience and prominence,” said Alfie Brody, Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy at 2K. “Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi have achieved greatness each individually and together, cementing their status as two of the most effective players within the WNBA’s history.”

Bird and Taurasi said they played video games a bit after they were younger, but there have been no female basketball players on the games.

“It is de facto, really cool personally, and I also think it, you realize being that we’re women and it’s now the second time they’ve had women on the quilt it’s it’s meaningful has special otherwise as well,” Bird said.

Bird feels that being on the quilt and having WNBA players within the video game will help normalize the presence of female athletes within the lives of each girls and boys.

“Whether it’s girls or boys, whether it’s women, men it doesn’t really matter and that’s that’s the great thing about it,” Bird said. “It’s just becoming like a standard a part of this ecosystem that’s skilled sports and gaming is an enormous a part of that ecosystem so to be involved in it now it’s just going to proceed to push things forward and just open up more doors and open up more minds.”

NBA 2K can be partnering with the WNBA stars to donate $100,000 to Every Kid Sports, giving young people the chance to hitch youth basketball programs across the country. The donation will cover the registration fees of over 550 girls from income-restricted families.

“Girls are dropping out of sports at an alarming rate, and I believe a part of it is that they’re not all the time capable of dream of what may very well be a profession that may very well be it’s very easy for little boys,” Bird said. “Whether you make it or not, it’s actually not the purpose. But it surely’s very easy for little boys that turned on the TV to see what life may very well be like, if I stayed with my sport.”

Taurasi marks the second player out of Phoenix to be front and center on this 12 months’s edition, joining Suns guard Devin Booker as 2K23 cover athletes.

This season (23 games), Taurasi is averaging 15.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists over 30.7 minutes per outing.

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