Dallas Wings’ forward Satou Sabally has been named the 2023 WNBA Most Improved Player, the league announced Thursday afternoon.
In her fourth season, Sabally averaged 18.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.8 steals in 38 games, all career-highs. She shot 43.5% from the field and 36.1% from beyond the 3-point line, also career-highs. Sabally finished ninth in the league in scoring and tied for 11th in rebounding, leading to her second appearance as an All-Star and first as a starter.
In addition, she posted 14 double-doubles, which was the fifth-most in the WNBA this season. The fourth-year star out of Oregon was also one of five players (Las Vegas’ A’ja Wilson, New York’s Breanna Stewart, Los Angeles’ Nneka Ogwumike, Minnesota’s Napheesa Collier) to average at least 18 points and eight rebounds a game.
Trust The Process
In just four seasons in the WNBA, Sabally has endured quite the journey. Not only has she played under three head coaches since being drafted 2nd overall in 2020, but the start of her career was plagued with injuries, playing in only 33 of a possible 52 games during her first two seasons. Still, she was selected for the All-Rookie Team and eventually her first All-Star selection in 2021. In 2022, she played only 11 games as she dealt with injury as well.
At one point this season, Sabally said she associated basketball with pain. In just a few months, her history became just that. History.
Throughout the 2023 season, Sabally has expressed at length that her dominance on the court is because of her work in the off-season, Wings’ head coach Latricia Trammell's trust in her ability, and her teammates. The deep humility she displays is not only refreshing but entirely genuine. More times than not this season, she’s shown she’s taken the next step not only as a basketball player but also as a teammate and overall human.
“I just wanted to showcase who I am,” said Sabally. “I feel like a lot of times over these three past years I wasn’t on the court enough that people could really understand who I really am, so I just wanted to present myself to the world in the right way.”
One of many things Sabally has excelled at in 2023 is exactly that. With her superb play, she has become a household name in the basketball world.
“We’re not in this position we are right now without her. She has been the glue for this team,” Trammell said of Sabally. “I could coach her the rest of my career. She’s just that type of player.”
Sabally and the Wings tip-off against the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA Semifinals on Sunday, September 24th.