By Dorothy J. Gentry
Photos: Dallas Wings
The Dallas Wings opened their 2023 Season Training Camp on Sunday at UTA’s College Park Center with a new head coach, several new faces and a new focus and theme: Locked In.
New head coach Latricia Trammell is preaching defense, culture, focus and being locked in on what the team hopes will be a successful year with a long post-season playoff run.
“Well, I think that first day, culture is everything. We know that. I think that setting the standards and expectations on the first day of how it’s going to be throughout the season is extremely important and it also gives players excitement to want to come back the next day,” she said Sunday after the team’s first day of training camp.
“I think the buy-in is when you have Arike [Ogunbowale] look at me after practice and say that’s the best first day of training camp she’s ever experienced. That’s what it’s all about.
We’re talking about culture, right? And that’s what you want your franchise player saying before she leaves. We’re always going to have some adversity throughout the season, but as long as we’re doing it together and staying connected like we showed and displayed out here on the first day, we’re going to be alright.”
Face of the franchise Ogunbowale is back for her fifth year and is looking forward to taking on a more vocal role as leader of this Wings team.
“I think just talking to them, showing with my actions, that’s more important than anything,” she said. “I think they have a lot of respect for me and I respect them so I think yes, I am a leader but we’ve got Natasha (Howard) she’s won three championships and Diamond (DeShields) she’s won a championship. Satou’s (Sabally) been here awhile, Big T. (Teaira McCowan) so we have a lot of people who can support me while I support them. It’s really respect and what they give me I give back.”
The team released its Training Camp Roster – 16 players vying for 12 spots. Awak Kuier, Kitija Laksa and Satou Sabally are set to join the team in the coming days after playing overseas. New draft pick Lou Lopez Senechal is sidelined to begin training camp as she recovers from a previous injury and will return to the court at a later date.
The Wings will play two preseason games, one at home on Friday, May 5 vs. Chicago Sky at 7 p.m. CT, open exclusively to season-ticket members and then will head to Indiana to play the Fever on Saturday, May 13 at 12 p.m. CT. The team’s regular season debut will be on Saturday, May 20 vs. Atlanta Dream at 12 p.m. at College Park Center and will be broadcast on ABC.
Meanwhile, they will continue with training camp for the next two weeks. Locked in and looking for their identity – something Coach Trammell says will largely be left up to the team.
“I’m going to ask the players that and I think this is what training camp is about. Now I have a vision of what I think that should be right, but I’m also going to tell you what I told them when I was first hired. I’m a player’s coach. I also want to hear their voices because they’re out in the battle,” she said.
“Today we came up with our reset word after practice. They all had to get together and talk about that. But ask me that after training camp because I’m going to let their voice be a part of that.”