Get To Know Her: Erica Wheeler

The second half of the WNBA season has begun. It's been quite an entertaining year so far. As the league grows in popularity, more and more individual players are gaining exposure. Here at The Sports Fan Journal, we want to contribute to that cause. Let's continue to "Get To Know Her." I know the best place to start.

Most people live a story where odds are overcome and greatness is achieved. It seems the longer the odds that were overcome, the better the story. In a league like the WNBA, with stars' illuminating brighter by the day, every story can carry an underdog tone to it, especially considering the lack of equal pay they're currently in a fight for.

Like every sports league, the WNBA's talent pool consists of the best of the best from college. Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, two of basketball's most accomplished living legends, both hail from the University of Connecticut. Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson played for Dawn Staley at the University of South Carolina. Candace Parker played for the legendary Pat Summit at Tennessee. Even Elena Delle Donne was a UConn commit before a family issue caused her to play for Delaware. Major pro talent is usually a product of major college talent, picked highly in the draft and then developing into superstars.

Erica Wheeler is a little different. She was undrafted in 2013 after playing four years at Rutgers. She was steady for her first three years there, but her mother's sudden death from cancer marred her senior season. So the 5'7" guard began her pro career bouncing from WNBA team to team. The Atlanta Dream and New York Liberty both gave her a roster spot, but she was unable to consistently crack the rotation. In between WNBA seasons, Wheeler played overseas and she saw time in Brazil, Puerto Rico and Turkey.

It's in 2016 where she was signed to the Indiana Fever's training camp roster. She cracked the starting lineup the following year, rising to second on the team in scoring. Last year, she finished one assist shy of breaking the franchise's single-season record.

Then, this 2019 season happened.

Wheeler is boasting career highs in points, assists, steals and field goal percentage. She was selected to her first WNBA All-Star Game last month. Here, she won game MVP, scoring 25 points to help Team Wilson beat Team Delle Donne. She's the first undrafted player selected to the midseason affair, and her winning MVP cements a remarkable turnaround for her.

Indiana is in the thick of the playoff race, and going to your favorite Vegas sportsbook or online casino and wagering on the Fever's title could be a worthwhile investment. Betting in Indiana's chances is kudos to Wheeler raising her game after working so hard to make good on her shot in the WNBA. Perseverance pays off. Commitment to a cause that is good that you know is for you will result in your goals being achieved and exceeded. Greats don't cease seeking greatness. Here's to Erica Wheeler and her determination. Get to know her.

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