By Megan Hustwaite.
Kristy Wallace thought her WNBA dream was over.
In 2018, Atlanta Dream selected the guard with pick 16 in the draft but a horror run of knee surgeries meant she never made it to the US.
Fit, firing in the WNBL for the Southside Flyers and fresh from representing her country on the international stage, Wallace has earned a second opportunity with the Dream who this week announced her signing for the upcoming season.
It’s a dream come true for the 26-year-old, with the news yet to sink in.
“I actually thought my chances of going to the WNBA were over so to have them stick by me, keep me in the mix after all these years is a big testament to them,” she said.
“I’m so rapt to have this chance, finally. It is a dream come true and I’m just excited to give it a go. There are no expectations so I’m just going to go for it.”
In the thick of rehab and with plenty of time to reflect, Wallace rediscovered her love of the game and with a new-found perspective is making the most of, and creating, opportunities.
“I think this is the time to give WNBA a crack, there’s no better time,” she said.
“I’ve had a lot of realisations and I’m doing this for the right reasons. I just want to enjoy playing basketball and being a professional.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet but as it gets closer, I think I’ll get those butterflies.”
With a FIBA Asia Cup bronze medal last September then a trip to Serbia with the Opals earlier this month, Wallace will head to Atlanta with valuable momentum and international experience under her belt.
“I’m excited to meet the people at Atlanta. The coaches, I’ve been in touch with them, my new teammates. The basketball, it’s the best league in the world so to learn, practice and play with and against the best, I’m rapt to get that opportunity.”
Returning to the WNBL this season, after previously representing the UC Caps, Wallace is averaging 9.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists across 8 games for Southside.
Kristy Wallace is coming back stateside! Welcome to Atlanta, Kristy 👏 #DoItForTheDream
— Atlanta Dream (@AtlantaDream) February 21, 2022
Also this week, Adelaide Lightning’s Alanna Smith inked a training camp contract with Indiana Fever after playing the last three seasons with 2021 runner-up Phoenix Mercury.
The Mercury drafted Smith with pick 8 in the 2019 draft.
Plenty of WNBL stars will be among WNBA action when the new season tips off in May.
#WNBL22 players in the WNBA
Alanna Smith, Indiana Fever (training contract)
Steph Talbot, Seattle Storm
Kylee Shook, New York Liberty
Ezi Magbegor, Seattle Storm
Lindsey Allen, Indiana Fever
Tiffany Mitchell, Indiana Fever
Sami Whitcomb, New York Liberty
Marina Mabrey, Dallas Wings
Jackie Young, Las Vegas Aces
Kristy Wallace, Atlanta Dream
Monique Billings, Atlanta Dream
Britt Sykes, Los Angeles Sparks