About 20 minutes before every game, the Aces assemble in the corridor — and prepare for play. Or, as reserve guard Sydney Colson says, the “Lady Aces” assemble — and prepare for play.
“I was just being silly one day, just saying it one time and started holding it longer. I was really just be annoying,” she said. “I was calling us that in practices because it’s very high school, and we’re a professional team. I just do random stuff. It was something random that started happening.”
And it stuck.
Colson began calling the team the “Lady Aces,” and leads it onto the court with a variety of “Lady Aces” chants that typically include a rhythmic clap coupled with an empowering, enthusiastic march. Several recordings of the team’s new ritual have circulated on social media and have helped the Aces build their brand — and identity — as they emerge as one of the top teams in the WNBA.
“It’s something we kind of embrace. We thought it was funny. Everybody else thought it was kind of cool and we just kept it going,” guard Kayla McBride said. “It gives us a little bit of energy before we go out. Sydney is hilarious. … She’s kind of our spark plug. To have that moment with her and to have the team get involved … it’s so funny and we’ve sort of put our on twist on it as well.”
Colson is in her first year with the Aces after signing in May and brings a fun, lighthearted approach to basketball. She’s an aspiring actress who dabbles in comedy, and uses her sociable personality to strengthen the bond with her teammates.
Perhaps it’s reflecting in their play.
They’ve won seven of their last nine games and sport the best record in the Western Conference. They lead the WNBA in several statistical categories, including defensive rating (90.6 points per 100 possessions) and defensive rebound (74.0) and assist percentages (70.4).
They might lead the league in fun, too.
“We weren’t expecting it. But it’s always cool when we have an impact on the fan base like that. We have a lot of fun,” forward A’ja Wilson said. “It’s just so effortless (for Colson). That’s what makes it so much fun to be around. She’s the person you always need in the locker room. We’re just grateful to have her on the team.”
Who: Aces at Indiana Fever.
When: 9 a.m. Wednesday
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
TV: WNBA League Pass
About the Aces (9-5): They’ve won seven of their last nine games and are establishing themselves as one of the top teams in the league. A’ja Wilson averages 16.7 points on 50.3 percent shooting to go with 7.1 rebounds. Liz Cambage averages 15.4 points and 7.6 rebounds and Kayla McBride scores 15.4 points per game on a career-high 49 percents shooting. The Aces remain the top defensive team in the league, allowing a league-low 90.6 points per 100 possessions.
About the Fever (6-9): They fell 102-97 to the Aces in overtime late last month. Second-year guard Keslsey Mitchell accounts for 14.6 points per game to lead five players in double figures. Veteran guard Erica Wheeler is in the midst of a career year, averaging 12.7 points, 5.8 assists and shooting 47.1 percent from the floor — all personal bests.