Perhaps the only thing greater than winning gold at the Olympics is becoming a parent — and Breanna Stewart, a member of the U.S. women’s national basketball team and power forward for the Seattle Storm, achieved both this month just one day apart.
On Aug. 9, Stewart and wife Marta Xargay Casademont, a fellow baller who played with both the Phoenix Mercury and Spain’s women’s national basketball team, welcomed daughter Ruby Mae Stewart Xargay via surrogate, People first reported.
A day earlier, Stewart, 26, joined Team USA in defeating Japan 90-75 in the women’s basketball final, taking home the team’s seventh consecutive gold medal.
Stewart scored 14 points in the final game, with 14 rebounds, five assists and four steals. She was clearly ecstatic about the win — posting, “Got that gold!” on Instagram, along with an image of her biting her medal.
But that victory paled next to Ruby’s arrival, which Stewart told People “has been the best part of 2021 and easily one of the best moments of my life.”
The Olympics weren’t completely out of her thoughts, though: She had considered giving Ruby the middle name “Tokyo,” but Xargay quickly ruled it out.
“First of all we don’t use middle names in Spain,” Xargay said in a video documentary produced by Bleacher Report and TOGETHXR. “And you’re gonna call her Ruby Tokyo? That doesn’t go together.”
Xargay and Stewart announced their engagement in May and got married in July. But they kept their plans for starting a family quiet, even from some friends and family. In the documentary, Stewart’s mom and dad seem genuinely stunned by the news.
“People are definitely going to be shocked,” Stewart said in a clip. “We kept this a secret for, like, 40 weeks.”
The couple started dating in April 2019, the same night Stewart tore her Achilles’ tendon.
“Me being injured was a blessing in disguise,” Stewart said. “Those moments and memories were huge for blossoming our relationship into what it is.”
Unable to play, Stewart made the decision to freeze her eggs.
“I really didn’t know why I was doing it, If I’m being honest,” she said in the video. “It was just that I was injured, I can’t play. … When else am I going to get a two-week period when I’m not playing?”
In retrospect, though, “it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life,” she said, “because you’re setting yourself up for the future.”
Stewart said she had always wanted to have a family, but her career made that difficult.
“As a women’s basketball player, it’s like, ‘OK, how do you do that? How do you plan that perfectly so the baby comes during the summer?’” she said in a clip. “And now, after the Olympics for 2021? Because we’re cutting it a little close.”
Working with a surrogate was the obvious solution. “Why can’t I be the best player and have a baby?” Stewart said. “Why can’t we do both?”
She and Xargay were together at the WNBA bubble in Bradenton, Florida, for the 2020 season. In July 2021, Xargay announced her retirement from basketball.
“Goodbye, but you will always be in my memories and I will always treasure the memories that I created with you,” she wrote in a July 15 Instagram post.
On Monday, Xargay posted, “The best part of this year has been becoming a mother and growing a family with my incredible wife, @breannastewart30.”
In the video, Stewart said she hopes their story shows people “there’s no perfect way to find love, have a family or create a family.”
“Becoming a mom is bigger than anything else that I’ve done,” she said, “and I look forward to every beautiful and challenging moment as a family of three.”