The Captain's Journal: Odyssey Sims

Season 2 Edition

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Savanna Collins
Mar 23, 2023

When the Captain’s Journal series started in 2022, Odyssey Sims sat down for the first interview.

She was one of the four inaugural captains of Athletes Unlimited Basketball and she was also the guinea pig for the multimedia series that documents the experience. Year one, week one covered Sims.

She was clearly stressed, not so much about the interview but about being a captain. She’d lost the season opener the night before and was overwhelmed having to play, coach, sub, draw up practice plans, and lead a team all at once. She went 0-3.

This year is drastically different. She’s been a captain every week of the 2023 season. First in orange in Week 1, then gold in the No. 1 spot on the leaderboard every week since. She’s comfortable, confident, a little worn down, but smiling.

“When you look at it you’re like, ‘I think O might’ve got a hold of it this year. It looks like she got it,'” Sims said.

It doesn’t just look like she’s got it — she does. She’s 8-5 as a captain and so far has gone 2-1 every week. Since last season, things have clearly changed.

She said season one was like a test run to understand the captain experience and now she’s been more strategic. She’s adjusted how she approaches the draft, this season establishing her style of play and then choosing athletes that can work in that system.

Plus she’s had a confidant the last four weeks in Jordin Canada.

Canada was shockingly taken off the draft board by NaLyssa Smith before Sims could lock her into her team for the fifth time.

“I’m a little heartbroken, not gonna lie,” Sims laughed. “My partner in crime is not with me to finish this last week.”

A last-second decision by Smith broke up what has been a flawless pair. They don’t have to say much to communicate and flow together on the court. Both point guards share the role without fuss.

“One of the best teammates I’ve ever had…it was just a great one, two punch.”

But Sims’ true confidant is always on her team: her son, Jadon. That’s the biggest factor that has made this season feel different for Sims. He turns three in April and is understanding that his mom is a professional basketball player for a living.

“He’s understanding like I go to work… I’m watching mama play basketball. It’s surreal to me ’cause you know, I’m making him happy. He loves to watch me play and just have him with me 24/7. I can just tell that he’s proud of me so I wanna continue to do that.”

After celebrating win after win with her team, Sims heads to the stands for ‘J’. He’s at her games and follows her to the training room. Still in her gold 99 jersey, she’s mom. Often right after playing over 30 minutes and dropping double digits in scoring.

Not only is Sims leading her team to wins as a captain, but individually she’s playing off the charts. She holds a 25.6 scoring average and is on a streak with 18 outings of 20 or more points.

The numbers speak to what she wants everyone to know.

“I’m still really good at basketball. I think some people think I fell off but I haven’t. AU speaks volumes so I just let my game talk. Everything else will show for itself.”

Sims signed a seven-day hardship contract with the Connecticut Sun in August last year before ultimately signing on for the remainder of the season. She played in all 12 playoff contests for the Sun as they made a run at the WNBA Championship but lost to the Aces. Right now, Sims remains a free agent for the 2023 W season.

She didn’t go overseas during the offseason and spent her time with her son and working out. She says there’s no secret to her performances and extended minutes for 15 games in just five weeks.

“I guess I had extra energy bunched up that I needed to get out,” Sims laughed. “But there is no secret anything. I’m just full of energy.”

Last year, Sims finished sixth overall on the leaderboard and set her sights on finishing in the top four as a returner. She never expected to be in first with a 400-point lead going into the final two days of competition.

She’s excited but tired. It’s no wonder considering she leads the league in minutes played with 503, but she can’t let up now. Sims is just two games away from cementing her season as truly golden with a first-place finish.

“I’m just loving basketball; it’s just hitting different for me at this point in my life.”


Savanna Collins is the Digital Media Reporter at Athletes Unlimited. You can follow her on Twitter @savannaecollins.

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