On Tuesday, Sydney Wiese hosted a press conference via Zoom to discuss her contract extension and all things Sparks. Everyone threw some dope questions at her and we got some awesome insight into Sydney’s career goals, how she’s been dealing with the pandemic, and everything in between.
Wiese signed her extension on May 15th and she couldn’t be happier. It was a bittersweet day for her however as the Sparks should have been in DC taking on the Mystics for opening day. She said “This league is a beast and nothing is guaranteed.” That it definitely is. With only 12 teams in the W, sticking around is tough. With the extension, Wiese is locked up through the 2022 season. The Sparks revamped their roster bringing back Kristi Toliver, who won a chip with the team in 2016. Also by adding Seimone Augustus and Brittany Sykes, they are loading up to compete for a title. Showing their commitment to Wiese at this stage in their development shows how much they value her.
Sydney also got into how the team is trying to proceed with business as usual during these unusual times. The virtual training camp experience has been different to say the least but Wiese has been impressed with the level of depth that has gone into the preparation for the season. She said everyone has been all in and the team has been able to build camaraderie through virtual meetings. Sounds like the Sparks are making the best of this situation and they will gel even more once they’re able to get back to it in the gym.
The league has also gone through some structural changes lately. Sydney was asked if the new CBA ever tempted her to take her talents elsewhere. She responded emphatically that LA was where she wanted to be. Loyalty is big for her and it is rare to find at this level. With both sides showing mutual desire to keep Wiese in Hollywood, you can believe that she will show her appreciation on the court.
While the entire league is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Sydney had a personal battle with the virus. She was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus and has thankfully fully recovered. She said that she felt off coming back from an overseas trip. By the time she was tested, she had already begun to recover. She was grateful that her case was mild but she completely understands how serious this is. She decided to go public with her diagnosis in an effort to connect with others who may be going through something similar. She’s been active with her fight as well by participating in the convalescent plasma donation program to help develop a treatment to fight the virus. She also urges everyone to continue to practice social distancing and stay vigilant with cleanliness practices.
Sydney is hugely optimistic about her future with the Sparks. She has all star and championship aspirations and has no doubt in her mind that both can happen in LA. When asked what parts of her game she was working on she said that needed to get back to an aggressive scorer’s mentality. Sydney said they brought her overseas to “get buckets” so she had to shift her mindset ASAP. So after scorching people overseas, she’s been getting back to basics since she’s been back home. Sydney’s been taking advantage of the mild Phoenix weather to hit the blacktop. She’s even been shooting on a court in her backyard with no backboard and no net. The love of the game is clear with this one.
Sydney was not shy when talking about her future aspirations. She made it clear she has an all star selection on her mind and wants to put up some banners in LA. She also talked about building her own personal brand. “When you’re in college you don’t really think about individuality and marketing yourself.” Now that she has a few years under her belt and is settled in the league, she’s looking to make connections and build relationships. She’s tapping into her teammates, Candace Parker, Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike, to get her on the right path in that regard.
All in all, Sydney has endless optimism about her future in the league. She is looking to be a mentor to younger players now that she’s an official vet in the game. She feels this is a great time to be involved in the W. The culture of the league is healthy and it’s growing at a rapid pace. Sydney says it’s everyone’s responsibility to leave the league better than they found it.
We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Sydney, the Sparks, and the rest of the W. Hopefully we things can resume traditionally sometime soon but until then, we’re going to keep our virtual eyes on everything. Stay tuned.