At Stanford University, the 6'2" Starbird held the all-time Cardinal career scoring record with 2,215 points until January 312008 when Candice Wiggins broke the record. In 1997, she was awarded the women's Naismith College Player of the Year award. After college, she joined the ABL's Seattle Reign.
She has played in the WNBA since 1999, after being drafted by the Sacramento Monarchs, who selected her 26th overall in the 3rd round of the 1999 WNBA Draft). She was then picked up by the Miami Sol in the 1999 expansion draft, then traded to the Utah Starzz for Elena Baranova and a second-round pick. She was then traded by the Starzz to the Seattle Storm for Semeka Randall in 2002. She missed the 2003 season, then joined the Fever in 2004. She chose to sit out the 2005 season to spend time with her family At the time of the announcement, Starbird stated she planned to return to Indiana basketball for the 2006 season.