Atlanta Dream guard and previous undrafted gamer turned All-Star Game MVP Erica Wheeler just recently signed up with the Get With It podcast to discuss her journey so far in the W.
Wheeler and WSLAM’s Camille Buxeda and Jianni Smith covered lots of subjects, however one returning style that kept appearing is the value of Wheeler’s mom and the result she had on her life.
“When I go at anything like this interview, when I’m on a court, when I’m doing anything that I can impact I always just try to do it to the best of my ability because let the world know that someone who struggled most of her life raised a great daughter.”
The effect Wheeler’s mom had on her is put to heart in a brand-new adidas PE that’s being launched in honor of her. On the most recent episode of WSLAM’s pod, Wheeler offered an unique preview at the style of the shoe.
“It has ribbons under the sole and in the ribbon it says ‘For Mom’ …. it cuffs my feet and my feet don’t slide. And it also give me that boost feeling because it’s soft,” Wheeler stated of the shoe. “My mom passed away from cervical cancer. The ribbon of cervical cancer is teal, so the shoe’s all teal. And I think the dope part about it is the bottom of the shoe. It’s clear, and it has ribbons all over them.”
Along with speaking about the brand-new adidas PE, Wheeler and the Get With It team covered several subjects covering the entire length of Wheeler’s profession. Wheeler chose to go to Rutgers University over UConn, LSU, South Carolina, and others. She states everything began with a see from head coach C. Vivian Stringer.
“The conversation was super family-orientated because we just started talking about food, it wasn’t even about basketball,” Wheeler informed WSLAM. “I think the one thing that stuck out to my mom is was I never let home, so she felt more comfortable with me going to Rutgers because how Vivian approached our family.”
According to Wheeler, Stringer let her understand that she’d have the ability to finish in 4 years and ‘know how to talk, how to represent herself, and etiquette.’ As the very first to finish from college in her household, Wheeler likewise saw the school’s rules classes as something she might ‘bring home’ to teach them.
After 77 wins and 3 NCAA Tournament looks in 4 years with Stringer at Rutgers, Wheeler reviewed something Stringer taught her that still sticks to her to this day. “Honestly, just being relentless. Like, she never gave us nothing. She didn’t care how good you were; I was the number one player leaving out of Florida when she recruited me, and she didn’t care. Like I don’t care how good you are, you’re going to work for everything.”
This ruthless mindset made it possible for Wheeler to eliminate through being undrafted in the WNBA Draft, and eventually gambling on herself in Puerto Rico after getting a call from a pal to bet a club group.
“I was working at True Religion and a drug abuse facility,” Wheeler states. “So for me, I’m like, Okay do I walk away from almost 3,000 to make only 1,000? But this is not my calling, like this is just work. Basketball is my calling. So I’m just like, ‘Man me walking away from this is basically betting on myself.’ So I just decided, I’m like, Alright. I ended up quitting both jobs.”
After winning a champion down in Puerto Rico with the group, Wheeler had the ability to display her skill briefly overseas and land a tryout with the Atlanta Dream. There, she placed on a ‘I’m bout to bust they ass and get this area’ mindset to become chosen for the one open lineup area after completing versus 3 other gamers.
While Wheeler just played 17 video games in Atlanta, it was a leaping point for the rest of her profession. A simple 4 years later on, she ended up being the very first undrafted gamer in history to be called All-Star Game MVP, representing the Indiana Fever. However, Wheeler confesses that she didn’t even see the All-Star nod coming at all.
“When I got that, I thought it was a prank honestly,” Wheeler states. “I’m thinking my best friend or my brother told a girl to call me to prank call me. Because if you ask Bethany, I’m like ‘man stop playing get off my damn phone’ like cursed at the lady and everything.”
Wheeler contributed in Team A’ja Wilson’s 129-126 success, tape-recording a game-high 25 points and 7 helps in 19 minutes of go to protect the success for her group.
It all ultimately came cycle for Wheeler, who made her method back to Atlanta this season. She’s presently balancing 9.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.4 helps per video game for the 4-1 Dream. Wheeler has a strong message for the remainder of the W and anybody who is sleepin’ on ATL.
“Just keep sleeping on Atlanta if you want to. I think we woke some people up that first game though,” Wheeler states. “When we lose we gon’ lose together, when we win we gon’ win together, and we never separate… y’all gon see.”
Subscribe to WSLAM’s brand-new podcast, Get With It, here.