Seven years ago, Odyssey Sims was the local girl and co-star of the Dallas Wings, helping introduce the WNBA to a new Texas market.
Five teams and the birth of a child later, Sims is on his second contract of the season in a return to the Wings. She says that she’s mature enough to call the younger version of herself a bad teammate, while she now knows how to be a good one to current franchise stars Arike Ogunbowale and Satou Sabally.
The soon-to-be 31-year-old can’t help but smile at the feeling of coming full circle.
«You have no idea. I’m so happy to be back,» Sims said. «If I could literally smile and talk like that for the rest of the season, this is how it really would be.»
When the franchise moved from Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2016, Sims was two years out of a career at Baylor under coach Kim Mulkey, which included joining teammate Brittney Griner as the team’s only three-time All-Americans. historical program. Her team won the NCAA title in 2012.
The Wings moved into a fairly new college stadium in Arlington, halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth. It’s not far from another suburb, Irving, where Sims excelled in high school.
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He shared the spotlight with Skylar Diggins-Smith, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 draft, a year before Sims took second place. But that was only for one season.
A trade to Los Angeles meant two seasons in a reduced role in a championship contender, then another trade to Minnesota. That’s when Sims learned something about being a teammate.
She remembers berating former UConn star Napheesa Collier as she tried to throw a backdoor pass to the rookie in practice and was immediately told, «Hey, don’t talk to your teammates like that.»
The Sims always had until Lynx veterans Sylvia Fowles and Seimone Augustus told him otherwise. For Sims, «Why did you do that?» morphed into «How can I help?»
«I feel like if I never played in Minnesota in 2019, I probably wouldn’t be in the league,» Sims said. «Because I was still talking to my teammates anyway.»
Sims’s only WNBA All-Star season was the last time she scored in double figures. She began the next season with a two-game suspension following a drunk driving arrest.
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The spotlight faded a bit more over the next two years, and Sims had just recovered from a calf injury when the Wings called earlier this season.
The first hardship contract didn’t last long due to roster limitations, but that didn’t make things any easier for Sims when she was cut.
«I’m not going to lie,» Sims said. «It hurt. I cried.»
He also knew that there was a chance that he would return, and this season should last for the rest of the season. Sims had already made an impression on Sabally, whose breakout season has included a franchise-record seven straight double-doubles.
«What he really brings to the table is determination and experience,» said Sabally, a No. 2 overall pick as Sims, six years out of Oregon. «She was very vocal when she was there. I’m looking forward to hearing that again and having her around her.»
Freshman coach Latricia Trammell expressed that she wanted Sims back when the Wings had to release her. Trammell envisions Sims being more than just a cheerleader, but she recognizes value in Sims as a self-described «energy little bug.»
«I think it’s invaluable,» Trammell said. «She’s someone who has a big, strong voice. She’s a great leader in her position. You can’t get enough of that.»
Sims missed most of 2022, playing briefly with Minnesota early in the season and Connecticut late in the season. He now realizes that he had postpartum depression and needed time to think straight.
Now Sims smiles to think that 3-year-old Jaiden is in the stands every time he plays at home, along with many other family members.
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«I feel like I’m starting over, but not really,» Sims said. «Everything is different for me. You can probably feel my excitement. I have so much energy. I love it.»
Sims just hopes that the moment of full circle is closer to the middle of his career than the end.