From June 2023
Latricia Trammell only needed 30 years to become a head coach in the WNBA, starting in the high school ranks and working her way up. The Oklahoma native did stints at Denton’s Billy Ryan High School, at UNT, and at TWU. At Oklahoma City University, she won back-to-back NAIA national championships in 2014 and 2015. And now, after serving as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Stars and the Los Angeles Sparks, she leads the Dallas Wings into a season of high expectations.
Who are the first three people who come to mind who don’t call you Coach? Oh, my goodness. Well, when my parents were living, my mom and dad. I’ll just say my family members. It’s kind of funny you ask that, because if they came to a game or a practice, then they actually would always call me Coach.
When is the last time you got some shots up in a competitive manner? Maybe last season, with the Sparks, my former team. After practice we’d have a three-point contest and certain shooting games, and every once in a while I would jump in. I think the last one-on-one I played was when I was working on defense with them, probably showing Brittney Sykes something to make sure her footwork was correct.
How did you fare? I’m just going to let you use your imagination.
This off-season must have been unlike any other off-season for you, just getting ready for the new job. But did you get to do any fly-fishing? I went after I was hired because I knew how busy this was going to get. I also broadcast in the off-season. So right after the college season, I took off and I went fly-fishing. I always go to Gunnison Valley and Crested Butte, in Colorado. It was an amazing trip.
Tell me about your sneaker game. I’ve seen you in some nice kicks. I’ve got the drip going. [laughs] I’m preparing for games, right? I bought some shoes I haven’t worn yet, and that’s the Travis Scotts, the collaboration with Nike. I mean, you’ve got to love those. But my closet is full of Jordan 1s. I love the Jordan 1. I really got into looking at shoes, honestly, when I got into the WNBA and particularly when I started coaching with Seimone Augustus, at the Sparks. She is definitely a sneaker head. She has a storage unit full of shoes.
When you started coaching on the professional level, you were given the advice to not get too close to your players. Why did you ignore that advice? That’s not who I am, and I always tell players, “Don’t change who you are.” It’s about relationships for me. I surround myself with successful people, and I ask them how they go about it. And most everyone always told me relationships. And that’s how I was raised, too. You’ve got to know the people that you’re going to battle with, and it’s bigger than basketball. It’s life after basketball as well.
“You’ve got to know the people you’re going to battle with.”
How many of your Denton Ryan players are you still in touch with, from, like, 2000? They sent me a group text, if you can believe it, and they’re all planning on coming to a Wings game.
As a high school player, you practiced every day with the girls team for two hours and then went and practiced with the boys team for another two hours. Is there any chance we can put together a Wings-Mavs joint practice? And can you teach that other team how to play some defense? I’m going to tell you right now that basketball is basketball, and I’m up for that any time. And I can teach anyone defense. I always say that if you have some heart and some grit and some determination, you can play defense.
What would you say to someone who’s never attended a WNBA game to entice them to come out to UT Arlington and see what you guys are doing? You’re going to see the best players in the world. One of the things I love about the Dallas Wings is the fan base and the atmosphere. I mean, it was electrifying watching their last playoff game, and I swear to you, I kept looking in the stands because I could not believe how many people came out to support the Dallas Wings.
Give me a prediction for the season. Well, right now we are undefeated [a month prior to first preseason game], so it’s absolutely fantastic. I’m going to leave it at that.
This story originally appeared in the June issue of D Magazine with the headline, “Hoop Dreams.” Write to [email protected].