April 16, 2024 

‘She speaks the game’: Wings pick dynamic guard Jacy Sheldon at No. 5

By drafting Sheldon, the Wings add depth and versatility to their guard rotation

Over the last five seasons, the Dallas Wings have been working to build a championship caliber team. While the team had a historic season in 2023, there are areas where the team needs to improve: three-point shooting and depth at the guard position. The organization may have gotten just what they needed from the 2024 draft, particularly with their first-round selection, Ohio State’s Jacy Sheldon.

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Wings President Greg Bibb said in a post-draft conference that this draft process was not months, but years worth of work.

“Tonight was a successful night for the Dallas wings. We came into this draft attempting to address what we perceive to be some needs and I think with the selections we’ve made, we’ve done that both for the near term and for the long term,” Bibb said. “So I’m excited about our draft class can’t wait to get them to Dallas and to get started in the 2024 season and trying to take another step forward and what has been a long but successful road and progression for us as an organization.”

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No. 5 pick Jacy Sheldon

Jacy Sheldon is a 5’10 guard that can be helpful to Dallas on both ends of the court. She shot 37 percent from beyond the arc in her final season with the Buckeyes. Sheldon also averaged 17.8 points and was second in steals for Ohio State with 80 takeaways. The Dublin, Ohio native could be the scorer that the Wings need at the guard position to help spread the floor.

Sheldon has the potential to take the pressure off of the Wings’ leading scorer Arike Ogunbowale, and is a more versatile player than the current guards 5’5 guard Crystal Dangerfield and former Northwestern standout Veronica Burton, who are both stronger defensively. Other teams will not be able to play off of Sheldon like some were able to do with Dangerfield and Burton because of her scoring capabilities.

“When we’ve talked to her, she speaks the game, she thinks the game. She’s a combo guard by definition, I believe a little bit more to one than a two but she gives us versatility to in terms of who she can be on the court with so really pleased to have her with the fifth pick overall in the draft,” Bibb said.

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No. 9 pick Carla Leite

Carla Leite (0) shoots over a defender during a game against Lithuania at the 2023 U20 Women’s European Championship (Photo credit: fiba.basketball)

Carla Leite is currently playing for Tarbes Gespe Bigorre in the Ligue Féminine de Basketball (LFB) in France. Bibb said the team is not sure if they will see the 5’11 guard this upcoming season. In 2023 she was part of the French U20 National Team, and led them to a Gold Medal in the European Championship after averaging 18.4 points and 4.3 assists.

“Leite is a very young, just turned 20 years old, international player currently playing in the first division in France. She is a dynamic guard, gets to the rim with tremendous success left handed, right handed, … [she plays] with moxie as a true point guard. Not sure if we’re going to see her this summer or if it’s down the road,” Bibb said in post-draft press conference.

No. 33 pick Ashley Owusu

Ashley Owusu is a talented scorer and has had success in the three programs she has been apart of throughout her collegiate career. Most recently, she led the Penn State Lady Lions in the postseason, averaging just over 18 points per game.

Bibb explained that, prior to being drafted, the 6’0 guard applied for an additional year of eligibility with the NCAA, creating a unique situation for the Wings.

“Ashley Owusu at pick 33 is a tremendous value for us. Ashley is a former top 10 high school player who started her collegiate career at Maryland then moved on to Virginia Tech and has recently been at Penn State. She’s dealt with some health issues during her college career,” Bibb said. “She’s actually applied for an additional year of eligibility for the NCAA, and that case is still pending. If she does get that extra year we’ll discuss that option with her. If she does go back to school, we’d retain her rights for the year and if she doesn’t go back to school, we’ll talk about what her future with us looks like.”

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Last season, Dallas was three games short of competing in the WNBA Finals, and their moves this offseason, including picking up Jacy Sheldon, have shown they intend to return to the playoffs for more. There are now 17 players on the Wings roster, though Owusu and Leite may not join the team this season. Tough decisions will have to be made when training camp begins on April 28.

Written by Arie Graham

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

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