October 26, 2023
Locked On Women’s Basketball: Indiana Fever guard Erica Wheeler keeps giving back, building her team
Howard and Erica Wheeler discuss the 2023 Fever season, leadership and community work
It’s time for another Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast episode. Erica Wheeler took over as Indiana Fever point guard, and the team took tremendous strides forward in the 2023 season. This is not a coincidence, which host Howard Megdal dives into with Erica on the latest podcast. Wheeler played all 40 regular season games and has big plans for the Fever going forward. The two discuss Erica’s mission to not only give back to the community but to find ways to do it at a cost that anyone can afford. And despite a long history of doing this, she is just getting started.
Erica Wheeler talks about the first 40-game WNBA season and leadership:
“It was a long one, you know, as first time ever, we have 40 games, they added some games, so and for me to play all 40 games, I committed myself and also committed to Indiana Fever to the people in the background as Todd and his staff that keep our bodies in shape. And keep us healthy. You know, so I command Todd and his staff to make sure we’re good. And honestly a recap for the season. I think that we excelled all expectations from start to finish; nobody expected us to win 13 games, being the Indiana Fever has won five and six in the last two years. That’s 11 games in total over the past two years. And we surpassed that in five months. So, for me, I have no complaints. Everything was new. Christie came in with a plan with our coaching staff. And also with me before I signed, she met with me and let me know her vision and what she wanted for me as a leader. And it was a different role for me, and typically, I was the young gun and not the vet. And this year, I was the head leader of the whole pack. So it was different. Definitely some ups and downs. Definitely, there are some things I can get better as a leader and as a player. So, for me, I wouldn’t change anything that has happened. Of course, we would love to win more games. But other than that, I think we excelled way more than people expected. And I think we’re probably like two or three games from the playoffs that nobody even thought we would even be nowhere near.
And again, I think some statistics are out there as where we were only like a minute, maybe two minutes from winning closing games, we couldn’t finish in those last two minutes to close those games. Even the Aces when we played the Aces the first time, it was a very close game. We played New York Liberty, and we went to overtime with them, so these are the top-of-the-line team that’s finishing and the championship games that we came close to. So for me, it’s more so like, yeah, you want to win, but you take those games and you build on it and you just try to figure out how we can win those games next year. And what do we need to do better as a program? And for me, just be a better leader on the court and how can I make my teammates better.”
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Erica Wheeler talks about the community work she does with the Fever:
“I think, for me, it just shows that the Indiana Fever is not just a basketball team. It’s just more so that we care about the community; we care about the things that are around us. And for me to be a part of the Indiana Fever, they are doing things like that warms my heart because you know how much I love giving back to the community. So, to be a part of that was super dope. The super dope part about it was being able to see some of the guests who were a part of the Wheeler mission excited about having an indoor gym that they can go to versus going anywhere else.
You have room and board, you have food and you also have a facility to work out and now we know how important it is for daily health stuff that we need to do, even if you get on the treadmill for five minutes and walk, that’s something that you are increasing your health, which is moving and not just sitting around and being bored. So, for me, I think it was super dope to be able to see the smiles on their faces and to know that Indiana Fever care for them in that way.”
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