Lehning and Price are Dream's coaches on the court

Life is a circle for most WNBA players. Once the league’s season ends, the women get little time to rest before they travel overseas to play another season. And when that season ends they get little time to rest before the start of the next WNBA season. Their careers go round and round until they end.

But Dream guards Shalee Lehning and Armintie Price are breaking the cycle and giving back to their respective alma maters. Lehning is an assistant women’s basketball coach at Kansas State. Price is an assistant women’s basketball coach at Ole Miss.

Neither player dreamed she would be a college basketball assistant coach this early in her life, but when the opportunity presented itself, she couldn’t turn it down.

Now, Lehning and Price have an employment situation that few in the WNBA have -- a good offseason basketball job in the United States that pays well and keeps them in shape so they won’t have to play abroad.

Both players love their chance to help at their old schools.

“I play against the players in practice and show them some of the things I know,” Lehning said.

Price said she might try to advance her coaching career in the future.

“Maybe I’ll try to be a head coach one day, but that’s years on down the line,” she said. “I’ve still got more learning as a coach and playing to do.”

Players who are assistant coaches see the game differently from other players because they have the experience of having input on a team’s strategy and seeing how that plan is implemented in games.

Lehning said being an assistant coach has helped make her a better point guard. She leads the Dream with an average of 4.6 assists per game and has helped make the team’s half-court offense more efficient.

“I think I pay more attention to detail in the games,” she said.

Price said being an assistant coach has helped her be more in tune with what the Dream coaching staff wants when she enters a game.

“I think being an assistant coach has helped me a lot as a player,” she said. “I can relate to what the coach is saying and get that message to the other players.”

With Lehning and Price, the Dream are guaranteed to have a coach on the court during almost every minute of every game.

“I think both Shalee and Armintie are tremendous leaders, they communicate well and they understand the value of having great team chemistry,” Dream general manager/coach Marynell Meadors said.

Assistant coach Carol Ross said Lehning and Price are very insightful.

“They see the game through coaches’ eyes versus a player’s eyes, and they are able to see things and make recommendations, and for me it’s very helpful,” Ross said.

A former SEC women’s basketball coach of the year who had stints at Florida and Ole Miss, Ross said Lehning and Price will make great coaches in the future.

“They have great people skills, and that’s critically important in the leadership role because you’ve got to inspire and motivate your own players and you’ve got to inspire and motivate a fan base,” Ross said. “Both Shalee and Armintie have a great ability to connect with people.”