-- When Breanna Stewart returned to the University of Connecticut this fall for her senior year, she joined the crowd of students going back-to-school shopping. But the 6-foot-4 basketball star was far from incognito.
"I was in Walmart and people were like, 'Stewie!'"
"I feel like once I came to Connecticut, it's my new name," Stewart says.
She made quite the entrance when she first arrived in the women's basketball-crazed state. As a freshman, she said she wanted to win four national championships while at UConn -- a feat no Division I women's basketball program has accomplished.
"When I was saying it, I wasn't trying to get a reaction from anyone," says the native of North Syracuse, New York. "I was just being realistic. You come to Connecticut and see all the other national championships people win. It's not like it's a rare thing."
So far, Stewart's three for three; UConn has won the past three national championships, and she was named the Most Outstanding Player in the three Final Fours in which she's played. She was also named national player of the year the past two seasons.
This year, Stewart knows she'll be taking on even more of a leadership role, which involves taking a page out of the playbook of her outspoken coach, Geno Auriemma.
"I'm not allowed to just lead by example. I have to talk," she says. "I'm not a super-shy person. I talk when I feel it's the right occasion. But when you're on the basketball court, you have to talk all the time. That's something the coaches have pushed out of me. It's become natural."
On the brink of leading her team to history, Stewart's also becoming the new model in women's basketball. She can use her size to dominate in the paint and also nail 3-pointers as if they were layups. Then there's the video of her dunking. She hasn't pulled it off in a college game -- yet.
As it stands, Stewart could walk away from the game today and be considered one of the best college basketball players of all time, though in her mind, she's just getting started.
"One of my goals is to be on the Olympic team and I'm hoping I'll be able to get on this team in Rio," she says. "I want to be as prepared as possible for the next level and that's what I've talked with Coach [Auriemma] about."
But first, Stewart has every intention of fulfilling the goal she set out to achieve three years ago.
"To be able to win four would be unbelievable," she says. "I wouldn't want to do it with any other team than the one we have this year."