July 19, 2022 

Why Sydney Colson is grateful for every day she’s in the WNBA

What makes the comedy queen of the WNBA so important to the Las Vegas Aces

Being a professional basketball player is not an easy job; most players will tell you that isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The season is long and filled with lengthy road trips, injuries and rough stretches. But, every team needs a player who can make everyone laugh and lighten the mood. For the Las Vegas Aces, that player is Sydney Colson.

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“Gratitude is like a huge thing to me. Just not in basketball, but just being grateful for the people in your life, for the opportunities that you have. Yeah, there are tough days for me sometimes, but I try not to let it show too much,” Colson told The Next. “I think that you know, when people stop thinking about themselves and they realize the situation that they’re in is one that a lot of people would like to be in and when they should be grateful for it’s easy for you to exude happiness and joy.”

Colson was drafted out of Texas A&M in 2011 by the Connecticut Sun but was quickly traded to New York. She played just one season in the Big Apple before falling out of the league for a few years. She resurfaced in the WNBA in 2015 with the San Antonio Stars and played three seasons with the franchise. She then bounced between three different teams over the next three years. She didn’t play in the WNBA last season but did compete in Athletes Unlimited this past offseason. Her time with Athletes Unlimited helped her earn a training camp invite and eventually a roster spot on this year’s Aces’ team.

This season with the Aces isn’t Colson’s first ride with the franchise. She played with Las Vegas back in 2019 and has some familiarity with this group of players. She loves being a part of this franchise and doesn’t feel there are a lot of differences between the group in 2019 and this year’s team.

“I mean like we’re playing a different style of basketball. I think people are in better positions to be successful,” said Colson. “I think there’s just like a positive energy around the team, we’ve been in a bit of a rough spot the past few games, but even still, I think that we still believe in one another.”

Colson is well known across the WNBA as being a jokester. If you ask any player or media member who is the funniest person in the WNBA, Colson is at the top of most lists. You see it a lot publicly in her social media posts. She isn’t afraid to hold back and tweets many things people find somewhat shocking. However, she believes that life is supposed to be enjoyed and that social media is just another place to entertain yourself.

“A lot of the time, I just tweet what I’m thinking like most of us do. Most people who know me know I like to laugh, make fun of stuff, find an entertaining spin on most things,” Colson said.

For Colson, the most important thing in life is gratitude. She was out of the WNBA last season but didn’t stop playing basketball. She participated in Athletes Unlimited, which just happened to take place in Las Vegas. Colson still had that competitive fire in her even though she wasn’t in the WNBA and used her time in AU to become a more aggressive player while showcasing her elite passing and defensive skills. Head Coach Becky Hammon says having someone like Colson is necessary for every team.

“She’s somebody who I know I could throw out there at any given time not played in a month and a half and she’s gonna go out and be solid. She’s also somebody that cannot play in a month and a half. And she comes in with the same great attitude every day. Like she is a pro,” Hammon said. “The whole team adores her. I know she’s going to be solid if I put her in. A person in that situation where they may or may not play. You want that to be a really great person because…it takes a lot of character to be in that kind of situation in that kind of role.”

Even though Colson doesn’t play a lot of minutes, you will still see her anytime you watch an Aces game. She is always up on the bench, cheering her teammates on, coaching the younger players and even giving suggestions to the coaching staff. When she does get in the game, you can see the love her teammates have for her. Colson had a nasty crossover in a game against the Liberty last week that got all her teammates up off the bench cheering. Colson’s teammates know her importance to the team despite the fact she doesn’t play a lot of minutes.

Las Vegas Aces point guard Sydney Colson passes from the slot to the short corner
Sydney Colson (51) passes in a game against the Mystics at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, DC, on May 10, 2022. (Photo credit: Domenic Allegra | The Next)

“She is just the ultimate teammate, the best teammate I’ve ever played with. She is just fun. She’s just pure joy. I think she just brightens everyone’s day and makes everyone feel seen and loved. And that’s a rare gift and quality. She’s obviously a great basketball player, but beyond that, you just want to be around her, and she just makes our locker room dynamic so much fun,” Kelsey Plum told The Next.

“Sydney’s someone who will always have a job always because you need that healthy balance in a locker room. But at the same time, it’s not like we take her as a joke. She’s a teammate; she holds us accountable. She’s a voice that we need on the bench. It’s always good to have that outlet and just to kind of laugh in situations that you shouldn’t be laughing in, but it’s kind of like a pressure release,” A’ja Wilson added.

Colson is clearly beloved by her teammates and knows her role on the team. She knows that she isn’t the star, but that is okay. She just wants to do whatever she can to help the team. Whether that is leading the bench unit, playing on the scout team, or helping her teammates on and off the court. Colson is the oldest player on the Aces’ and sees the importance of imparting her veteran wisdom on her teammates.

“I think that a lot of us have good things to say, but I try to just impart whatever wisdom I have whatever I see, but there are a lot of us in that group that do that. You know, I’m the oldest in that group and on the team. I take that with me everywhere I go, though,” Colson said. “I’m always trying to give leadership whether I’m playing a lot or not. I’m a competitor. I’ve played for a long time, just like several other people on the team. I’m gonna always speak up, say what I see and make sure that we’re all staying on the same page and supporting one another.”

At the end of the day, Colson is just blessed to get to play in the WNBA. She was a second-round pick and knew she would have to work for every opportunity. However, playing in Athletes Unlimited helped her get another chance with the Aces’ and she knows not to take it for granted.

“I am energetic, supportive, professional, ready, and competitive. I’m just like a joyful person. Like I told you, gratitude is big for me. I’m grateful for every day that I get. I’m grateful for my friends and family. You know, thank God for every day that I see. I think I’m a grateful person. I think that kind of will explain everything else about me.” Colson said.

Written by Matthew Walter

Matthew Walter covers the Las Vegas Aces, the Pac-12 and the WCC for the Next. He is a former Director of Basketball Operations and Video Coordinator at three different Division I women's basketball programs.

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