“Better With Time”: Pierson’s ‘Resurgence’ Inspires Wings

In honor of Plenette Pierson’s recent 4,000th point milestone, the Dallas Wings present “4 Days of Plenette”.


The Dallas Wings entered a June 23 game at home  on a three-game win streak. It was the team’s longest streak of the season, and they were looking to extend it versus the San Antonio Stars, a team they had beaten once already.

The Stars, who were down six points with five minutes left in regulation, had fought back to tie the Wings with 1:26 remaining. The game and the win streak were on the line when Plenette Pierson decided to step up.

“That’s just who she is,” said rookie center Ruth Hamblin. “Her experience shows up in those crucial moments down the stretch of the game.”

Pierson drove the lane and hit a layup to give the Wings the momentary advantage. San Antonio center Jayne Appel-Marinelli responded with a jumper of her own to tie the game again and send it to overtime but Pierson and the Wings weren’t done yet.

Pierson scored a team-high six points in OT to lead the Wings to a 97-90 win over the Stars and extend the win streak.

“She knows what shot to take,” Hamblin added. “She is very aware of the time and score, and what play the team needs to make. If it’s her shot to take, then she is going to do it.”

This is all part of a “late-career resurgence” for the 14-year veteran. Pierson, a two-time WNBA champion, did not make her first All Star Game until last season at the age of 33.

“She’s like wine,” said assistant coach Bridget Pettis. “She keeps getting better with time.”

Pierson is building off of last season’s all-star performance by grabbing more rebounds and dishing out more assists per game than last year while increasing her three-point and free throw percentages. She has led the team in scoring six times, most recently at Seattle on August 31.

“It is so valuable to see her work continue to pay off,” Pettis added. “It helps us as coaches to teach and preach a strong work ethic to a young team, and to have evidence of that.”

“I’m not surprised at all. She comes in every day and does what she needs to do to be a better player for this team.”

Pierson has already added another accolade this season, becoming the 28th player in WNBA history to pass the 4,000 career point mark on August 26 at Phoenix. She also passed Ashja Jones in that game to move into 27th all-time in WNBA scoring.

Despite her output on offense, Pierson sees her strength on the other end of the court.

“My game is to play defense,” Pierson explained. “I love to play defense. I love to sacrifice myself for my teammates. Even if I get a foul, I’m not mad about that. That’s just something I had to do for my teammates to let them know that I am there.”

Pierson’s teammates do not let that sacrifice, or her experience in the league, go unnoticed.

“She’s a huge asset for our team,” Hamblin said. “She’s the one out there making all those hustle plays and taking all those charges, getting steals and getting big rebounds. She brings a lot of energy to this team.”

“There are so many things to learn from her,” Hamblin continued. “The first thing is her toughness. She plays so physical. On the sideline, she is also like a coach to me. She will pull me in to help and coach me up. She helps out in quite a few different ways.”

And how does Pierson explain her late career revival?

“I am just focusing more,” Pierson explained. “I am getting older and maturing a lot. I am trying to impart some knowledge on the young players, and with that you have to ‘walk the walk’, you can’t just talk. I’ve learned that from some of the best.”

“The foundation of her game is her work.” Pettis added. “Talent will go away eventually and meet its peak, but work can always take you further.”