They're WNBA teammates and fiancées. This is their love story.

Updated

DeWanna Bonner and Alyssa Thomas are ultracompetitive with each other during a game of one-on-one. But the WNBA stars typically work together, on the court and at home.

The two Connecticut Sun players are engaged, becoming a power couple of the WNBA. Before they were a couple, they played against each other when Bonner was on the Phoenix Mercury.

"We knew each other from the WNBA, we played USA Basketball together. And — OK, she says I stalked her Instagram. But I don't call it stalking," Bonner told CBS News, laughing. "First of all, I didn't know people can see you watching their stories if you're not friends. Let's just start there."

After meeting online, the pair finally talked in real life. Bonner came over to the Sun in 2020, a year that had athletes living in so-called bubbles, sequestered so they didn't catch COVID.

Connecticut Sun forwards DeWanna Bonner and Alyssa Thomas speak prior to a game on Sept. 13, 2023. / Credit: M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Connecticut Sun forwards DeWanna Bonner and Alyssa Thomas speak prior to a game on Sept. 13, 2023. / Credit: M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

"You know, being in the bubble, we had nothing to do," said Bonner. "We couldn't leave, it was just in the hotel room all day every day, around the same person. So if you can do that, and spend that time with somebody and really enjoy it, I felt like, 'OK, this could really be my person.'"

They went from friends, to teammates, to partners — which they say has positives and negatives. "Go ahead," Thomas said to her partner, joking. "It's you, you have the negatives."

"We're around each other all the time," Bonner finally conceded, "You know, usually when you go to work and you tell your spouse about your job ... But she already knows what happened, so I have nothing to share."

The positives: "I think we balance each other. Alyssa is a little more reserved, I'm like the wild one," Bonner said, adding that she still gets anxious before games, and Thomas helps calm her nerves.

Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner play a competitive game of one on one at Mohegan Sun Arena, home of the Connecticut Sun.  / Credit: CBS News
Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner play a competitive game of one on one at Mohegan Sun Arena, home of the Connecticut Sun. / Credit: CBS News

Thomas' favorite thing about Bonner, a mother of two: "I think about how caring she is and her personality. She takes care of everyone and puts everyone before herself and that's a great quality about her."

Thomas decided to pop the question after they played together during last year's WNBA All Star game in Las Vegas. "I thought it was a moment where our families could share in it as well," said Thomas. "Also, I had to keep her on her toes. She's a hard person to surprise."

The pair kept their relationship mostly a secret from their teammates, but after their engagement, there was no hiding it. "[They call us] the parents," said Thomas, who is 32.

"They call us mom and dad of the team, because we're the oldest," said Bonner, 36, laughing. "No, but our team is amazing. This group is really, really close and it's been really fun. And our locker room has just been really accepting of us and hopped on the bandwagon of our relationship and our goals."

Some of their goals include winning the WNBA championship this year. The Sun had a winning streak earlier this season and is one of the top teams in the league.

Last month, Bonner reached a personal goal – becoming the fifth player in WNBA history to reach 7,000 points. And Thomas made the Team USA Women's Basketball Team for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Bonner says she plans to attend all of Thomas' games in Paris, and her other goal for Thomas is to win MVP of the league or WNBA finals.

Their wedding plans are on hold for a bit until after the Olympics. And before they head down the aisle, Bonner hopes to go head-to-head on the court.

"We have the opportunity, if I make All Stars to actually play against each other, because she's on Team USA and then if I make All Stars, the All Stars are playing Team USA," she said. "I'm just gonna shoot it and hope it goes in, because once it goes in, I'm never going to stop talking trash."

During a game of one-on-one after the interview at the Mohegan Sun Arena, it was clear how serious Bonner was about beating Thomas. "If I make it in, I'm going crazy," she said before sinking a basket, her cheering echoing through the nearly empty stadium.

"If I make [the All Star Team], she's buying dinner, drinks, I'm getting spending money in Paris, all of it if I win," Bonner laughed.

The two pro athletes admitted to being highly competitive against each other. "I try to beat her at everything – I don't care if it's popping some popcorn, I'm trying to have the best popcorn ever," Bonner said.

"She usually loses though," Thomas joked.

Their competitive spirit has helped the athletes excel in their careers. Their message to girls looking up to them: "People try to tear you down and tell you you can't do something," Thomas said. "But you don't know unless you go out there and try."

"Don't let anybody change you. Don't let anybody stop you from being you. Because there's only one you, might as well just show it to the world," Bonner said.

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