May 26, 2023 

Sights and sounds from the Dallas Wings home opener

Wings start strong in new era for program

The Dallas Wings began the season with a new look, and it wasn’t just because they donned their rebel jerseys. Dallas has undergone many changes during the offseason and they are beginning to find their identity as a more defensive team. Four-year forward Satou Sabally said past coaches would laugh at her now because of her focus defensively with Dallas.

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“Because I’ve learned now how important defense is and how important it is to win games,” Sabally said.

There was a good turnout for the team’s home opener. The College Park Center was buzzing with fans old and new. Head coach Latricia Trammell said she had never seen the upper decks open. The CPC was loud and the energy was electric.

“I mean, this is an electrifying fan base. They love this team and we cannot thank them enough for their support and their loyalty,” Trammell said.

The game was set up to be a dramatic matchup, with Allisha Gray returning to her former Dallas squad’s arena as a member of the Atlanta Dream.

There were many fans sporting Gray’s Dallas Wings jersey. The crowd would cheer for her when she scored, but that changed in the second half when the Dream went on a run in the third quarter. Trammell said it was the fans that got them through.

“I always tell our bench this, too, because if you notice when things [are] going great most people always do what? They cheer and they stand up. But we really need you when things maybe aren’t going so well.”

Members of the Dallas Wings cheer on teammates from the bench. (Photo credit / Dallas Wings)

All active players were able to get minutes, and the bench remained engaged on the sidelines. Even when things started to go south a little in the second half there was no change in their body language. That is something that has not been seen in prior seasons. It could be due to the fact that Trammell is a player’s coach. She values the feedback from her team even during the timeouts.

“You know, after I gave instruction or whatever — what we are trying to execute — they would always come back and say something positive,” Trammell said.

Dallas won their home opener against the Atlanta Dream. The team begins their first road trip starting in Minnesota against the Lynx on May 26. With six days between the Wings’ first and second game, will they be able to keep up the momentum? Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale said everyone stepped up defensively and offensively during the home opener.

“If we play like that, [we’re] gonna get a lot of wins,” Ogunbowale said.

Written by Arie Graham

Arie Graham joined 'The Next' in May 2021 as the beat writer for the Dallas Wings.

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