Exactly two years and three days to the date the Dallas Wings last played a home game in the College Park Center in Arlington, they will make their home return hosting the Seattle Storm Saturday night, with a young Wings team not being held back at all by head coach Vickie Johnson.
“I think the best way to do it is to just throw them into the fire,” Johnson said. “I teach everybody the same and I hold them to high expectations. They have a role and I expect them to meet their expectations and role in order for us to be successful.”
And success came quickly for the Wings in their first game of the season, a 23-point win against Los Angeles, in which Wings rookie – the number one overall pick in the WNBA draft – Charli Collier out of the University of Texas impressed by scoring 11 points in her first pro game.
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“It means so much to me because I grew up watching these players on television and now I’m in the same league as them,” Collier said. “It’s just surreal. It’s an amazing feeling.”
“I’m not thinking about her being a rookie, I’m thinking about her being a professional basketball player,” Johnson said. “The way she’s going to do it is to play every minute like it’s her last minute and play every minute very hard.”
Playing hard, including in the Wings upcoming home opener – the teams’ first home game in more than two years – with Coach Johnson excited for the opportunity to play a real home game for a number of reasons.
“It’s a blessing that I’m here in Dallas,” Johnson said. “I live in Dallas, now I coach in Dallas, and I love this team.”