MINNEAPOLIS – On Friday night, Phoenix Mercury forward DeWanna Bonner walked the Orange Carpet prior to the WNBA All-Star Reception, an evening of the most talented women’s basketball players on the planet coming together to celebrate the game.
But before she walked down the carpet in her BCBG dress, Bonner had an important phone call to make.
— WNBA (@WNBA) July 28, 2018
In the span of a single calendar year, Bonner went from giving birth to twin girls to arriving in the “Twin Cities” to take part in her second WNBA All-Star Game.
“It was a goal of mine; it’s a huge accomplishment because it’s so hard coming back from having babies,” Bonner said after Friday’s All-Star practice. “To be named an All-Star, it was like, ‘Yes, I did it!’
“I didn’t want to come back and just be mediocre; I wanted to get back to where I was. My teammates pushed me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Bonner has been anything but mediocre for the Mercury this season. She is averaging 16.4 points – her highest scoring average since the 2012 season – to go with 6.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals as she is back to being a matchup nightmare for Phoenix opponents on a nightly basis.
— WNBA (@WNBA) July 28, 2018
The 6-foot-4 forward is a perfect complement to her fellow Mercury All-Stars Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi. With Griner dominating in the paint and Taurasi scorching teams from the outside, Bonner is able to do a little bit of everything in the space that those two scoring threats provide.
Whether its knocking down spot-up jumpers (40-of-97 FG per Synergy), working as the ball handler in pick-and-roll (0.912 points per possession, 80th percentile), cutting to the basket (22-of-36 FG), crashing the offensive glass (66th percentile) or getting out in transition (24-of-43 FG), Bonner has many ways to make an impact on the game.
And she’s done it all while balancing being a WNBA player and a new mom, with the babies’ other mother – Fever forward Candice Dupree – playing 1,500 miles away in Indiana.
“Oh man, its tough; it’s one of the hardest things ever,” said Bonner. “I have to balance my time between being a mom and taking care of the babies with going to practice [‘and taking care of this baby,’ the 6-foot-8 Brittney Griner chimed in from one chair over].
“But I have a great support system. I have a teammate [Taurasi] that’s doing the same thing, so we kind of just talk it out and go with it. Me and Dee we’ve had those days when we’re just dead tired and kind of push each other through.”
Bonner will return to Phoenix following Saturday’s All-Star Game and see her now one-year-old twins before the Mercury are back in action on Tuesday, when they host the league-leading Seattle Storm (10 p.m. ET, Twitter).
At 15-11, the Mercury are in the middle of a crowded pack in the WNBA standings as seeds two through eight are separated by just 2.5 games at the All-Star break. For Phoenix to remain in the hunt over the final three weeks of the regular season, Bonner will have to maintain her return to All-Star form.