Seven years ago, Odyssey Sims was the hometown 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 her second contract of the season in a return to the Wings. She says she’s mature enough to call the younger version of herself a bad teammate while now knowing how to be a good one for the current stars of the franchise, Arike Ogunbowale and Satou Sabally.

Odyssey Sims #2 of the Dallas Wings handles the ball during the game against the New York Liberty on June 11, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Catalina Fragoso/NBAE via Getty Images) The soon-to-be 31-year-old can’t stop smiling about the full-circle feeling. “You have no idea. I’m so happy to be back,” Sims said. “If I could literally just smile and talk like this the rest of the season, this is how it would be for real.”

When the franchise moved from Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2016, Sims was two years removed from a Baylor career under coach Kim Mulkey that included joining teammate Brittney Griner as the storied program’s only three-time All-Americans. Their team won the NCAA title in 2012.

The Wings moved in to a fairly new college arena in Arlington, about halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth. It’s not far from another suburb, Irving, where Sims was a high school standout.

She shared the spotlight with Skylar Diggins-Smith, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 draft, a year before Sims went second. But that was just for one season. A trade to Los Angeles meant two seasons with a reduced role on a championship contender, then another trade to Minnesota. That’s when Sims learned something about being a teammate.

She recalls chastising former UConn star Napheesa Collier while trying to throw the rookie a back-door pass in practice and was promptly told, “Hey, you don’t talk to teammates like that.” Sims always had until Lynx veterans Sylvia Fowles and Seimone Augustus told her otherwise. For Sims, “Why did you do that?” morphed into “How can I help?” Odyssey Sims #1 of the Connecticut Sun warms up before Game 3 of the 2022 WNBA Finals against the Las Vegas Aces on September 15, 2022 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Catalina Fragoso/NBAE via Getty Images) “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 teammates any kind of way.”

Sims’ lone WNBA All-Star season was the last time she was a double-figure scorer. She started the next season on a two-game suspension following a drunken-driving arrest.

The spotlight faded a little 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 because of roster limitations, but that didn’t make it any easier for Sims when she was cut. “I’m not going to lie,” Sims said. “It hurt. I did cry.”

She also knew there was a chance she would return, and this stint should last the rest of the season. Sims had already left an impression on Sabally, whose breakout season has included a franchise-record seven consecutive double-doubles. “What she really brings is grit and experience,” said Sabally, a No. 2 overall selection like Sims, six years later out of Oregon. “She was really vocal by the time she was there. I’m looking forward to hearing that again and having her around.”

First-year coach Latricia Trammell was vocal about wanting Sims back when the Wings had to release her. Trammell anticipates Sims being more than a cheerleader, but recognizes the value of Sims as a self-described “little energy bug.” “I think it’s invaluable,” Trammell said. “She is someone that has a great, strong voice. She’s a great leader in her position. You can’t have enough of that.” Odyssey Sims #1 of the Connecticut Sun dribbles in the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Aces during Game Three of the 2022 WNBA Finals at Mohegan Sun Arena on September 15, 2022 in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Sims missed most of 2022, playing briefly with Minnesota at the start of the season and Connecticut at the end. She realizes now she had post-partum depression and needed time to get her mind right. Now, Sims beams at the thought of 3-year-old Jaiden being in the stands every time she plays at home — along with plenty of other family members. “I feel like I’m starting over, but not really,” Sims said. “Everything just hits different for me. You can probably feel my excitement. I’m so energized. I love it.” Sims just hopes the full-circle moment is closer to the middle of her career than the end.

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