'On the floor crying': Shyla Heal's tears over brutal WNBA dumping

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Shyla Heal, pictured here in action for the Chicago Sky in the WNBA.
Shyla Heal was dumped from the WNBA after just four games for the Chicago Sky. Image: AAP/Instagram

Aussie basketball star Shyla Heal has opened up on the moment she found out she'd been dumped from the WNBA in America after just four games.

Heal, the daughter of Aussie basketball great Shane, was cut just months after being selected by the Chicago Sky with the eighth pick in the WNBA draft.

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The Sky traded the 19-year-old to the Dallas Wings in June for fellow rookie Dana Evans, before she was subsequently released by the Wings.

In an exclusive interview in the Daily Telegraph's Stellar magazine, Heal revealed the brutal moment she was informed of the ruthless move.

Heal said she was pulled aside by coach James Wade as she was waiting with teammates to board a flight to Phoenix for their next game.

Shyla Heal, pictured here in action for the Townsville Fire during the WNBL grand final.
Shyla Heal in action for the Townsville Fire during the WNBL grand final against the Southside Flyers. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

“I was all excited because it was my first away trip, but (Wade) wasn’t smiling at all. He was really serious,” Heal told Stellar.

“And then he said, ‘Look, I know you’re going to be a star, but you’ve been traded to Dallas and they’ve cut you. 

"You need to figure out how to get your bags off this plane. You have three days and if no team picks you up, then you’re on your way home’.”

Heal said she couldn't even contact her family in Australia because of the time difference.

“I was so shocked. I just did not see it coming. Especially as I (was) boarding a flight,” she said.

“And the worst part was it was 3am back home. So I was trying to call my family and no-one was answering. I just sat on the floor (crying) for ages.”

At the time of her axing, Heal took to social media to reveal her devastation but said it had only made her more motivated.

"It’s a really disappointing day to be released from the WNBA," she wrote.

"It wasn’t the ideal start missing pre-season and not getting many practices with the team but that’s life. 

"This setback is exactly what I needed. Not many 19-year-olds get a taste of the best league in the world, if at all.. and now I’ve NEVER been so motivated.

"I can’t wait to show people what I can really do. Onwards and upwards with a positive mindset and things to prove."

Shyla Heal joins Sydney Flames in WNBL

Heal is among three top-10 picks from this year's WNBA draft who will line up for the Sydney Flames in the WNBL in Australia, with Dallas Wings guard Chelsea Dungee joining the club on a one-year deal.

Dungee, who was selected by the Wings with pick five in April, has arrived in Australia as a replacement for injured import Leaonna Odom.

The 24-year-old joins Heal and fellow import guard Stephanie Watts on the Flames' roster.

"We are excited to add Chelsea to our Flames roster," Sydney coach Shane Heal said.

"She is a talented rookie who had a tremendous college career and I believe she is a star of the future.

"We decided to go with a wing instead of replacing Odom with another player in the four spot.

"Chelsea will fit our up-tempo style of basketball as she has an ability to shoot the three or play off the dribble to create and score."

with AAP

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