Former UConn basketball star and current forward for the Seattle Storm Breanna Stewart detailed in a blog post Monday that she suffered sexual abuse as a child.
Simply titled "Me Too," a nod to the social media movement started following abuse allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, Stewart wrote about a two-year period of sexual abuse that took place at a relative's house, beginning when she was 9 years old.
"I don't know how to say this part. I haven't told many people," she wrote. "I'm not the most vulnerable person - I don't talk about my feelings much - so this is uncomfortable."
The blog appeared Monday morning in The Players' Tribune, a website that allows professional athletes to connect with fans in their own words, according to the site.
U.S. & World
Stewart included details of how the abuse would happen and how she felt helpless.
"I couldn't sleep. I was always on guard."
She talked about the night she decided, as an 11-year-old, to wake up her mother and tell her what had been happening to her.
Stewart's parents called police and the man, who she describes as a construction worker who smelled like cigarettes and dirt, confessed and was arrested, according to Stewart.
She said she immersed herself in basketball. In fact, the day of her predator's arrest, she told her father she wanted to go to basketball practice that night.
Her basketball skills took her from her home near Syracuse, New York, to UConn, where she won four National Championships and left as one of the most popular players in Huskies' history.
Now with the WNBA's Seattle Storm, Stewart says she still carries horrible memories with her.
"Even though I play in front of thousands of people or talk to reporters all the time, I have quiet moments every day that no one sees," she wrote. "That’s often when I think about it. I could be surrounded by my teammates or friends or complete strangers, living life as I normally would, and memories like lightning will strike."
She said after recently reading Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney's account of sexual abuse she feels "less alone."
Stewart said her father has always told her that one day she might be comfortable enough to talk publicly about what happened to her and that she may even save someone's life.
"That's why I'm writing this," she added. "This is bigger than me."
Stewart, the first overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft, was named WNBA Rookie of the Year for the 2016 season.