July 3, 2024 

Odyssey Sims is helping lead the Dallas Wings

The organization continues to reach out to her whenever it’s in need

The Dallas Wings signed Odyssey Sims to a salary-cap hardship contract on June 25 due to the injuries the team has suffered to players like Satou Sabally, Natasha Howard and Maddy Siegrist. Two days later, in Sims’ first game back, she scored 18 points and helped end the Wings’ 11-game losing streak. They topped the Minnesota Lynx 94-88.

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The former Baylor standout was playing Quai 54, a Jordan Brand street-ball tournament in Paris the weekend before Dallas signed her. While Sims has not been able to secure a regular roster spot in the WNBA, she is always ready when her number is called.

“I think like just over the last couple of years, being on the league, out of the league, just kind of staying motivated within myself to stay ready,” the 5’8 guard said. “Staying in shape making sure I’m working out, just doing a little things. So when my number is called in a game, I’m ready.”

In her third game back with the team, on July 1, Sims made the starting lineup. It was her first start since 2021. She scored her 3,000th point in the 95-71 loss to the Seattle Storm.

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A veteran presence

Sims brings the ball up the floor for the Dallas Wings against the Minnesota Lynx
Odyssey Sims brings the ball up the floor in her first game back as a Dallas Wing against the Minnesota Lynx on June 27. (Photo credit: Dallas Wings)

Sims is a homegrown talent from Irving, Texas, just 16 miles from the where the Wings play at the College Park Center. She was a highly touted guard throughout high school and college. At Baylor she won a NCAA title in 2012, leading the team to a perfect 40-0 season.

She was drafted second in the 2012 by the Tulsa Shock. The organization moved to Dallas in 2016. She played on the first Wings team in Arlington. She played with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2017 and 2018. Her former teammate and Women’s National Basketball Players Association president Nneka Ogwumike told The Next that she loved playing with Sims in L.A. due to the energy she brings on both ends of the court. Ogwumike believes the guard deserves to be on a roster.

“She’s a fighter,” Ogwumike said. “She likes to win. She likes to compete. I just feel like her having to just now join the Dallas Wings is like a testament to what needs to change when it comes to many things. When it comes to the CBA and what it means to like hold roster spots and have certain players be the automatics on teams. I think it is unfortunate, but I am glad to see her back.”

In a way, it is a full-circle moment for Sims to be back in Dallas and serving as a spark for the team. When asked after the win against Minnesota, second-year head coach Latricia Trammell said that she was glad president and CEO Greg Bibb picked up Sims.

“She’s a veteran, you know what I mean? She’s a baller,” Trammel said. “She can go in and just play the game. She gave us that energy, that spark, that pace we’re looking for. Defensively, she takes pride on that end as well.”

Sims also played with the Wings in 2023. She was signed to a hardship contract due to injuries, released, then signed to a rest-of-season contract. She played 28 games with the organization and helped it reach the semifinals.

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Playing at home

Odyssey Sims yells in celebration in a yellow Athletes Unlimited jersey
Odyssey Sims notched a triple-double in Athletes Unlimited’s third week of action. (Photo credit: Domenic Allegra | The Next)

In the past two offseasons, Sims has participated in — and dominated — Athletes Unlimited. AU is a player-driven league. It is a more relaxed environment but still with highly competitive basketball.

In 2023 she finished second on the leaderboard. She fell short of being the champion after suffering an injury in the final week. In 2024 she was a captain throughout the entire AU season.

“Having that freedom, it kind of helped me get back to the love for the game playing the first year. So Year 2 to Year 3, every year just got better, especially for me because everything I am working on in the offseason I was able to do and display in Athletes Unlimited,” she said.

Ogwumike said that she has watched every season of AU. By playing Stateside, people have access to the games, whether in person or via League Pass.

“The partnership is amazing, and being able to play against W players and W-caliber players, it’s important,” Ogwumike said. “Without it that who knows where a lot of people’s opportunities could have landed, whether it was making a training-camp spot or making an actual roster spot.”

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Leading the team through adversity

After back-to back losses to the Storm, the Wings will play a couple of games at home that may help them get things back on track before the Olympic break. While the team is currently last in the standings, Dallas has stayed positive.

Sims brings positivity to every team, which does not show up on the stat sheet, like just being a good teammate and leading the team whenever it hits adversity.

“It’s hard sometimes, of course,” she said, “when you’re losing, when you’re down by like, you know 10, 15 [points] and you feel like everything’s not going right for us, but everything’s going right for another team, just continuing to make sure I’ve just tried to keep everybody together, keep everybody with a level head, making sure nobody shuts down or gets too rattled.”

Written by Arie Graham

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

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