Former FGCU star Kierstan Bell wins second straight WNBA title

When the final buzzer sounded at the end of Game 4 of the WNBA Finals, forward Kierstan Bell of the Las Vegas Aces sprinted from the bench to center court. The Aces achieved every athlete’s dream – winning a championship.

“Everyone’s been saying, ‘Bro, you’ve been in the league for only two years and you already have two rings,'” Bell said.

As a second-year forward, Bell is accustomed to winning and celebrating. She won two ASUN titles with head coach Karl Smesko and Florida Gulf Coast. Smesko made sure to attend when Bell won her first WNBA championship and was present for her second as well.

“She had the trophy over her head,” Smesko recalled the celebration after Game 4. “She ran with it to the locker room, and then she had to bring it back out. I mean, they were just having a lot of fun.”

This championship marked the culmination of an eventful year for Bell. Before the Aces commenced their title defense, Bell was reunited with her father, Perry, who had spent 20 years in prison.

“I never thought this day would come, honestly. Sorry… the day he got out and came to Vegas, it was a really special moment because I never thought I would see him in person,” Bell explained tearfully.

Throughout the season, Bell’s dad was present in the stands as she solidified her role in the team’s rotation. Off the court, the two developed an instant connection.

“One time we went to a restaurant, and he said he doesn’t like ketchup, doesn’t like tomatoes, but he likes root beer, and I’m just like, ‘Are we the same person right now?'” Bell recalled. “I’m realizing that we have so much in common.”

The Aces became the first team in 21 years to win back-to-back WNBA titles.


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