June 1, 2024 

Monique Billings is putting up career numbers with the Dallas Wings

'All I can say is patience is bitter, but the fruit is sweet'

It is not often that a player signed to a rest-of-season hardship contract is inserted into the starting lineup and makes an immediate impact. In that way, forward Monique Billings is an anomaly.

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The former UCLA standout is making the most of her time. Her career average for points prior to joining the Wings was 6. After her first five games with Dallas, Billings is averaging 13 points and just over 7 rebounds.

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This contract has given her a chance to show the league what she is capable of. Billings spent 6 seasons with the Atlanta Dream before signing a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Sparks this offseason. The Sparks eventually waived her on May 13.

Fast forward to her fourth game with Dallas against the Sparks, she scored 18 points and grabbed 12 boards, earning her the Wings’ coveted drip chain.

Monique Billings with her Dallas Wings teammates after earning the drip chain after 84-83 victory against the Los Angeles Sparks May 26. (Photo credit: The Dallas Wings)

The 6’4 forward told The Next she is grateful for the opportunity to play, and for her teammates and second year head coach Latricia Trammell.

“These girls have embraced me and have made this feel like home. Grateful for the coaching staff, LT. She’s truly a player’s coach and this allows us to play free. I feel like that’s where my success is coming from,” Billings said.

Trammell said she could not believe Billings was sitting at home.

“I mean, she is a true blessing to our team. It’s exactly what we needed, her versatility offensively and defensively, her quickness, her leadership,” Trammell said.

Billings has played well against both of her previous teams. In her second game with Dallas, against the Atlanta Dream on May 21, she scored 20 points and 10 rebounds. She said there have been a lot of emotions during the season’s opening weeks.

“All I can say is patience is bitter, but the fruit is sweet,” she said.

Sevgi Uzun and Monique Billings after practice May 22. (Photo credit: Pam Flenke)

After cutting point guards Crystal Dangerfield and Veronica Burton, the Wings have had a fresh face running the offense, Turkish guard Sevgi Uzun. Dallas has had to make adjustments on the fly while the team builds chemistry, but Uzun described Billings as a player and a fighter that brings the energy.

“She’s always forcing you to be your best, which is like the best part. You always want to have those teammates in your team. Then she’s the one who is picking us up all the time and then bringing the energy and fighting every single time,” the 5’10 guard said.

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Having Billings for the rest of the season will further elevate Dallas when all players return from injury, namely forwards Natasha Howard and Satou Sabally. In the mean time, Billings could continue to put up career numbers.

The Wings complete their five-game road trip June 2 against the Minnesota Lynx.

Written by Arie Graham

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

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