Maddy Siegrist diary: On winning with Dallas Wings and resting — Must-click women’s basketball links — Lindsay Allen talks Lynx

The IX: Basketball Wednesday with Howard Megdal, July 26, 2023

(Editor’s note: Happy Basketball Wednesday! I am delighted to bring you the Maddy Siegrist 2023 WNBA Diary. Every two weeks throughout the 2023 season, Maddy will be sharing her thoughts on her Dallas Wings season directly with you, readers of The IX. Maddy’s ability to put everything from her on-court performance to the off-court growth of women’s basketball into broader perspective will be vital to our understanding of the road ahead. I hope you enjoy this as much as I am. – Howard)

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Everything feels better when you’re winning.

Even cancelled flights are okay.

We’d just beaten Minnesota, and I was set to fly to Las Vegas, so I could fly back to Philly and see my former teammates at Villanova and then spend some quality time with my family. But after the first leg of that trip — where I got to meet the people from Puma, do a photo shoot, which was awesome — my flight got cancelled, and I had to fly to Newark instead and take a car down to Philly, which got me in super-late.

I was going on like two hours of sleep, and my teammates were playing a pickup game against Drexel on the Drexel campus, a beautiful arena. But it took all of my energy to get up out of bed and back to see them. I had to, though. They’re my teammates.

Even so, I didn’t play much, just did some shooting on the side. I didn’t want to try and keep up with 18-year-olds on full rest. But I got to see everyone, which was so great. It’s like nothing’s changed. And then you gotta be like, “Right, I’m not putting the uniform on.” You’ve got to remind yourself.

So then I headed up to The Rockaways to be with my family, and I let myself take a whole day off, which is not something I’m good at. But I loved just going to the beach, knowing I didn’t have to watch the clock and remember exactly when to be back home, or have someplace else to be. It felt like the summers of my childhood. My mom still spends all summer there, and my siblings were all with us. And none of us rushed. We went swimming, we came home for dinner, and my friends joined us. It was perfect.

It’s funny, though, talking to people who hadn’t seen me in a year. Everyone is so excited for me, but they don’t all know how my season is going. Like some of them were congratulating me for making All Star, since they knew I was in Vegas. I didn’t want to have that conversation, so I just said “Thank you.”

But I am getting more and more comfortable with my bench role, figuring out how to make sure I have exactly the energy I need the moment my number gets called. Doing it for two months, three months now, and it really has been a learning experience for me, and I’m working to get the most out of it. Also, I know that someday, when I’m not, I’m going to be conscious of my teammates who are doing it, to include them the way my vets are including me now.

It’s not just that they go out of their way to shout me out in the locker room, either. It’s day-to-day — it’s things like “hey, we’re going to eat here at the airport” or “come get coffee with us”. It’s like they all remember that everyone was a rookie at some point, and they make sure I don’t feel alone.

I’ve also changed up my workout routine. I was big on the elliptical, but I wanted to try the underwater treadmill, and I really love it. Other than that, things are pretty much the same when we’re back in Dallas. I haven’t had time to decorate much, since we come and go so often. But even though I’ll always be a Northeast girl, I love Dallas more than I ever imagined I could. It’ll never be my first home, but it is getting to feel like home, too.

My reading list has expanded, too, thanks to my boyfriend’s mom — she recommended “Saints For All Occasions” and it really speaks to me. One of the main characters becomes a nun, and that’s always interested me because of my relationship with Shelly [Pennefather]. And I did like the moving away from home part, I was able to identify with some of those things.

Driving back to the team hotel in New York Tuesday night, after our last dinner of break in The Rockaways — simple, steak and salad, just a home-cooked meal with my grandparents — I really felt energized. We are coming together as a team. It’s not like in college when you’ve been together every day. It takes time, and we are feeling so connected. We only had two turnovers against New York, and I didn’t even realize it until afterwards, when it was like — wow, we had a lot of offensive possessions. But it is feeling like we can really do something special.

And it was like a little extra burst of energy for me, to go into this second half with time from family and friends, reminding you of who you are, what your values are. It was definitely a reset. And then I was really excited to get back to it.

This week in women’s basketball

Annie Costabile, a pro’s pro, joined Lindsay Gibbs’ podcast.

Should the Storm trade Jewell Loyd?

The Mystics solved some of their defensive problems.

Natasha Cloud matters.

Chelsea Gray’s star keeps rising.

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Five at The IX: Lindsay Allen, Minnesota Lynx

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: @TheIceGarden, The Ice Garden
Saturdays: Gymnastics
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Written by Maddy Siegrist