Sue Bird was raised on the North Shore of Long Island. According to the Washington Jewish Museum, her dad is a doctor and an “Italian-born Russian Jew,” and her mom is a Protestant-Christian who works as a nurse. Bird told the website she was raised practicing “doses” of both religions. “I did Christmas stuff just as much as I did Hanukkah stuff. I didn’t go to church, I didn’t go to temple, I wasn’t Baptized, I didn’t have a bat mitzvah or anything like that,” she said. Her parents divorced when she was in high school, and while Bird was in college, her mom met a man who became a fixture in their lives.
According to ESPN, Bird has a reputation for possessing a cool facade, but when her mom’s partner passed right in 2012, right before Bird began competing at the Olympic Games in London, the star’s composure began to crack. at first, “Nobody was any the wiser,” Bird said, but all those bottled-up emotions came to a head during halftime of Bird’s first post-Olympic outing with the Seattle Storm. “The team told everyone I was sick. But the truth was, I had to go home,” she said. “It was as if all the emotion — everything that I had put to the side for that month — just hit me in one moment. My battery was on empty.” She decided to sit out the 2013 WNBA season to mentally and physically recover.