After a successful 2018 WNBA Draft, we sat down with our three draft picks to get
their thoughts on being the newest members of the Dallas Wings.
Forward Azurá Stevens
First Round, 6th overall
Q: What was the week leading up to the draft like?
A: I got the invite to the draft last week and that was really cool. From there, it was a lot of planning. A lot of my family lives in New York, so we had a draft party. There was a lot of excitement. It was a surreal experience coming down on Tuesday night with Gabby [Williams] and Kia [Nurse]. Being able to experience it with them and us being able to be in New York together was really cool.
Q: What was your first thought after being drafted?
A: There was a lot of emotion when I was drafted. This has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid. But at first, I was relieved. We were getting close to the end, so there was a lot of relief. But once I took a deep breath, I was really excited. After I was drafted, I walked around the corner and got a video from Kevin Durant and that was really cool. I even got a video from my high school coach and the faculty and staff back at my high school. That was really cool. It reminded me where I came from and to never forget that.
Q: How did playing at UConn and Duke help prepare for the WNBA?
A: Stevens: I think it’s helped me be able to adjust. Going from one program into another program, it was hard to kind of let go of everything that was there and immerse myself into a new place. So I feel really confident going into this team to be able to adapt and adjust to the new environment and the team and whatever they need me to do.
Guard Loryn Goodwin
Second Round, 18th overall
Q: What are your thoughts on being drafted by the Dallas Wings and coming home to Texas?
A: It has always been a dream of mine to play in the WNBA, so when I was drafted I freaked out. It finally became real. It was tough for me because I was not a first round pick, so I did not know where I was going to get drafted. The first rounders usually know where they are going to be picked and they just kind of have a sigh of relief that they finally got drafted. I had an idea of where I was going to get drafted, but things change and I did not know for sure. It was crazy and exciting to see my name come up and it become a reality for me.”
Q: What are you most excited for this upcoming season?
A: I am excited to be a part of a championship team. The Wings have a really good team with really talented players, and I am going to do whatever it takes to help this team. I am really excited to see where this team can go. But I have not made the team yet. I still have training camp first to try to make the team.
Q: What can you learn from a player like Skylar Diggins-Smith?
A: I think she has a lot of success in her life. She was successful at Notre Dame and she was a winner. I think I can learn from that and about her mentality. I feel like we kind of have the same mentality in that we both want to win and will do whatever it takes. I will learn the x’s and o’s from her and how to be the best player I can be. She has had a lot of experience in the league and has persevered through an ACL injury. I think I can learn how to deal with stuff like that from her and just try to do whatever it takes for me to be successful.
Q: How did playing at Oklahoma State prepare you for the WNBA?
A: I first went to UTSA, but when I got to Oklahoma State it was a completely different atmosphere. The Big 12 is a really aggressive league and I think that is what it is going to be like on the next level. Watching Big 12 games versus other, I feel like it is so much more physical. It really takes a toll on your body, but I feel like that has prepared me for the WNBA. I have seen a lot of pushing, shoving and really aggressive moves. So I think I will be prepared in that aspect. I know I will have to be a step quicker and make decisions a step faster, but I will be prepared for the aggressive play.
Center Natalie Butler
Third Round, 30th overall
Q: What are your thoughts on being drafted by the Wings?
A: I am just so grateful for this opportunity. I am excited to come into training camp and show what I can do. I am so excited to come to Arlington and work with a great coaching staff. I talked to the President and I am very excited to be with this organization.
Q: What do you hope to learn from Liz Cambage?
A: I want to learn as much as possible from her. I truly want to be a student of a game. I am just going to try to be a sponge and then translate what I learn from her to my own game. I am just super excited and grateful for the opportunity to learn from a player like her.
Q: What are you most excited for this season?
A: I actually have some family in Fort Worth, so getting drafted by the Wings was really cool. It will be nice to have some family close. I had a phone call with the team before the draft, and I really wanted to go there. I am just extremely grateful to be drafted and so excited to come into training camp and compete. I hardly slept last night.
As training camp approaches on April 29, the rookie trio is excited to compete for a spot on a very young and talented Wings’ roster. The regular season begins on May 18 in Phoenix, with the home opener on May 20 against Atlanta.