March 30, 2017

Washington Mystics Game 16 Wrap: Mystics’ win streak goes to four with rout of Seattle

Fresh off a week’s rest for the all-star game, the Washington Mystics improved their home record to 6-3 with an 87-74 win over Seattle in a Wednesday matinee at Verizon Center.

[Read more…]

Mystics Acquire Second Round Pick in 2015 WNBA Draft

Mystics Press Release Logo

MYSTICS ACQUIRE SECOND ROUND PICK IN 2015 WNBA DRAFT
Team Trades Quanitra Hollingsworth to Seattle

Washington, D.C. – The Washington Mystics have acquired the Seattle Storm’s second round pick (15th overall) in the 2015 WNBA draft in exchange for center Quanitra Hollingsworth and Washington’s second round pick (20th overall).

“This trade gives Quanitra the opportunity to be part of a team where she will have more playing time,” stated head coach Mike Thibault. “It also gives us another draft pick that will allow us to take a player that we can possibly develop for the future.”

Hollingsworth was acquired in a trade with the New York Liberty in 2013. She missed the 2014 season due to an overseas commitment. She appeared in seven games with the Mystics, averaging 1.7 points per game and 1.4 rebounds per game.

Washington currently holds the 8th, 15th and 32nd picks in the upcoming WNBA draft.

The Washington Mystics will tip off the 2015 season on the road against conference rival Connecticut Sun on Friday, June 5, at 7 p.m. Following their season opener, the Mystics will return to Verizon Center for their home opener to face the New York Liberty on Saturday, June 6 at 7 p.m. Season tickets for the 2015 season are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Mystics Sales Office at 1-877-DC-HOOP1 or by visiting the Mystics web site at www.washingtonmystics.com.

President Obama hosts WNBA Champs at White House

Ed. — Thursday, WNBA Champs Minnesota Lynx were honored at the White House. While the Lynx obviously do not play basketball in D.C. on a regular basis, we still thought it was a neat ceremony and had the opportunity to have “special correspondent” Chris Gordon cover the event for District Sports Page.
ObamaLynx (2 of 9)

by Chris Gordon, special to District Sports Page

President Obama honored the Minnesota Lynx at the White House on Thursday, hosting an event commemorating their championship in 2013. Since selecting superstar Maya Moore first overall in the spring of 2011, the Lynx have become the WNBA’s dominate franchise. They won the title in Moore’s first year, in which she was named Rookie of the Year, sweeping the Atlanta Dream in the Finals.

After a 10-0 start to the season, the Lynx made the Finals again the next year before falling to the Indiana Fever. In 2013, they became the fifth team in the history of American pro sports to sweep every postseason series, capturing their second championship. Moore was selected as Finals MVP. The team has an 8-1 record so far in 2014.

“You did not only go 26-8 in the regular season, but you also swept the playoffs — a perfect 7-0,” President Obama, speaking in the East Room, said of their championship year. “You won it with all-star talent, from Seimone to Rebekkah Brunson, hometown hero Lindsay Whalen. You did it with fellow all-star and Finals MVP Maya Moore, who has now been here so many times I’ve lost track. I mean, basically there’s like a Maya Moore wing in the White House and when she comes, we’ve got all her stuff here. She’s got a toothbrush.”

In a testament to Moore’s significance, head coach Cheryl Reeve deferred to her when it was time for the team to make remarks.

“I just can’t speak enough about this team behind me,” Moore said. “We care, and it shows when we’re on the court, when we’re together, when we’re in the community. I think that’s what our nation is about.”

Here are some photos of the event:

ObamaLynx (1 of 9)
ObamaLynx (4 of 9)
ObamaLynx (8 of 9)
ObamaLynx (9 of 9)

All photos (C) Chris Gordon and may not be used without permission.
________________

Chris Gordon is a writer and photographer for Russian Machine Never Breaks and specializes in hockey related content. He has an affinity for spicy chicken sandwiches.

Washington Mystics Game 3 Recap: Mystics fall 73-65 to Storm

Fresh off their first win of the season Friday night, the Washington Mystics faced the Seattle Storm at Verizon Center, but came up short, losing 73-65 to fall to 1-2 on the season, and 0-2 at home.

Like the Mystics, the Seattle Storm played on the road Friday night, but were still 0-3, trying to find their first win of the season. “They came out and played with a little more desperation. I think their veteran leaders were good,’’ said Mystics coach Mike Thibault. “They shot the ball much better in the second half.”

”The first half was really ugly both ways,” said Thibault. ”The second half stayed ugly for us other than a few minutes, and I thought that the more desperate team body language-wise won the game.”

A 13-2 run during the third quarter enabled the Storm to run away with the game.

The Mystics were outrebounded 32-30, and Thibault pinpointed that as an area that the team needs to improve upon. At Indiana on Friday, the Mystics outrebounded the Fever 41-31, in a game they dominated from start to finish.

When frustration sets in, the Mystics seem to forget the basics. Thibault said the team will work on going “back to the fundamentals” in upcoming practices.

Kia Vaughn agrees. “We just have to buckle down and stick to what we are good at,” she said.

Emma Meesseman led the team in scoring with 12 points, accounting for 10 of the Mystics 14 points in the first quarter. Ivory Latta added 10 points, including 2 3-point baskets.

Mystics’ Head Coach Mike Thibault Speaks at Team Media Day

At the Washington Mystics’ team media day on April 28th, head coach Mike Thibault took some time to chat with the media about the upcoming season. As he heads into his second year with the team, he answered questions on their youth, schedule, as well as his take on Donald Sterling.

A lot of offseason moves. What does that add up to for the season?

“Well, if it was an 82-game season, I wouldn’t be as nervous because we’re really young. We’re going to one of the two or three youngest teams in the league. In a 34-game season, you don’t have a lot of room for error. Probably the good part — there’s a couple other good teams in our conference kind of going through the same thing. But, we’re going to have to rely on our veterans to kind of get us going with all these young faces. Probably by opening day roster, we’re going to have seven or eight, six or seven players on our team that are one or two year players in the league. That’s a little scary sometimes as a coach, but we knew what we were getting in for when we made the changes. It’s a long term plan as much as a short term plan.”

With the youth and the new faces, is chemistry and working on that in the preseason as important as the X’s and O’s?

“I actually think that’ll be the easiest part. I think the chemistry because you have high energy people like Ivory [Latta] and Kia Vaughn and [Monique Currie] already here and personalities, I think the did a good job with our rookies that came in last year and I think that’ll carry over. The rookies that are coming in this year, particularly [Stefanie] Dolson and [Bria] Hartley, they are high energy players to start with. They are great personalities. We’re going to have more media darlings in our locker room this year than most any team in the league just because they’re all gregarious and they’re willing to talk. I think the chemistry will actually be the easiest part of it.”

Are you going to lean on those veterans to help propel that chemistry?

“Very much so. I’ve talked to them. When you talk about Kara Lawson and Ivory Latta and Kia Vaughn and Monique Curry, they need to step up and be accountable right away for everybody else. I’m sure that’s what they’ll do. They’ve embraced the changes and I think the hardest person this’ll be a change for his [Monique Curry] because number one, [Crystal] Langhorne was a long-time teammate and friend, and number two, she’s the only one remaining from when I came here over a year ago. It’s kind of one those you look around the locker room and she’s going ‘Oh my goodness. Where’d everybody go?’ But, at the same time I think she’ll be revitalized too by the new teammates that she has.”

If you’re going to get to players from any college this year, Connecticut’s a good way to go.

“Yeah they’re used to winning. They haven’t lost too many games in their lifetime so that’ll be a great thing. You know the funny part about it is there is a little bit of a converse that though is that they’ve never played in very many close games. It seems like in every game in our league you’re down to the wire most nights. So that’s going to be an actual big adjustment. I remember when I coached Tina Charles at Connecticut. Her biggest adjustment was being in a two or three point game night after night after night because those guys are blowing everybody out every night. That’ll take a little bit of getting used to. You know, the rules at the end of games. How much every timeout and possession means at the end of the game. That’ll be an adjustment.”

The center position has been a bit of a revolving door over the years. How much does [Stefanie] Dolson bring for you?

“Well, she brings versatility for one thing. You compare her up with Kia Vaughn and Emma [Meesseman] and others and Tianna [Hawkins] and let them play both positions. She’s able to post on the block. She’s able to play at the high-post. She’s a terrific passer. She can shoot a three and she can post up. Her shooting percentage has always been above 50 percent. You’re looking a versatile center who’s played in a couple different styles. When she was first at Uconn, she played mostly in the low post. He last two years, she played more in the high post. She’s been able to do it both ways and I think she’ll adjust to the things we’re trying to do.”

You look at rebounding as a strength, particularly after adding Stefanie [Dolson] and Tianna Hawkins.

“I think it is now; it wasn’t last year. I think we were a middle of the pack rebounding team. We became a pretty defensive rebounding team by the end year. We need to be a better offensive rebounding team and I think that’ll help. I think that, surprisingly, Kara Lawson is a good rebounding guard. Monique Currie, last year, had one of her best years as a rebounder. I think, overall, our team rebounding will get better this year because of the additions.”

Do have a sense yet of what the personality of this team on the floor will be?

“Fun. I think we’ll be an up-tempo team offensively. We’re going to push the ball. You have, potentially if you start Ivory [Lattan], Kara [Lawson] and [Monique Currie], three of the best three-point shooters in the league all on one team, and then you have mix and match post-up combinations. You can start Kia [Vaughn] and [Stefanie] Dolson, or Emma [Meesseman], Tianna [Hawkins], all of them are in the mix. You can have a very versatile offense. Last year, one of our biggest strengths was our bench. We had the highest scoring bench in the league for most of the year with Emma Meesseman, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and [Nadirah] McKenith and people like that. We don’t have a star. The fact of the matter is, until we made the trade for Kara [Lawson], until we drafted [Stefanie] Dolson, we had no player in the USA Basketball pool for potential player for the national team. Those two are on it, but we don’t have that kind of a team. We’re going to have to be the sum of our parts. If we have five people in double-figures and get 14 a night, that’s fine with me. It makes it tough for teams to lock in on one player, too.”

Does what’s happening with the Wizards help with you guys at all in terms of atmosphere, seeing what it is to see a team in the post season and to have that type of success?

“I think it helps. It was nice to bring them all to playoff game and to see what that’s like. A lot of these players have experience in major NCAA games, but only a couple have playoff experience in our league. So to be around that and to see the excitement I think can only help us.”

Is this young team poised to make a run to the playoffs this year?

“I think so. What I told them in our first meeting is that it’s going to be harder this time around. We’re going to have a little bit more of a target on our back. You’re not going to sneak up on anybody. But, everybody else in our conference has gotten better, too, in different ways. New York added Tina Charles. Connecticut is younger, but they have great athletes. What we did last year is become average. It was fun and it was excited, everything we did, but the reality is that at the end of the year we were 17-17. The next step to becoming an elite team is a lot harder. The only way you can do that is by being at attention to detail. By minimizing mistakes and those kinds of things. Yet still kind of have that same fun loving, up tempo feel to our team that we did last year. You just have to be better. You have to execute better. You have to be better at the end games than you were. That’s just going to be the test of how fast we mature.”

What will Kara [Lawson] bring to the table for you guys this season?

“Well, the first thing she’ll bring is experience of being on a winning team for most of her career. She’s won a championship. She’s been in the playoffs in Connecticut. She’s been on the Olympic team. She knows how to go about being a pro everyday. She’s a terrific shooter, it’ll stretch the floor for us. The fact that she can play both guard spots puts a lot of pressure on the other teams. We give up a little size defensively. Matee [Ajavon] was a good defensive player. But, we weren’t a great outside shooting team other than Ivory [Latta] and [Monique Currie] for the most part. It’s going to be a situation now where we can put the fear of God in people in terms what we can do scoring the ball.”

With the schedule this year. Anything that helps you or hurts you?

“I don’t know how the schedule is going to work out. The only good part about our schedule is that we don’t play a lot of games early. We’re probably going to be in a mode of having a second training camp after our home opener because Emma Meesseman is going to be here late, some of our post players are coming in next week. We could probably use that extra week to catch up a little bit. As far as opponents, it seems to be every time I look at the schedule it all looks hard to me because everybody in this league is pretty close. The worst team and the best team are not separated by that much.”

Has Stefanie Dolson challenged you to a dance off yet?

“No. But, I’ll work on my game a little bit on that. She might get surprised about that.”

[Regarding Donald Sterling] Anything you want to say about all that?

“I think most everything has been said. My position is that doesn’t belong anywhere in society and it doesn’t anywhere in our sport. It’s an NBA and societal thing. As a WNBA coach, I don’t know if it’s my place to comment on beyond that the league is obviously going to do what they know is right. That’s just not a part of who we are or what we should be and I’m saddened that it’s happened. Beyond that, it’s something that’s going to have to take it’s time to play out in the proper channels. As much as we may think or we may not think that something should happen right away, in our country we have a little bit of due process so I guess we’ll let it play out.”

MYSTICS: Washington Mystics Release 2013 Schedule

Washington Mystics Press Release LogoMYSTICS RELEASE 2013 SCHEDULE

Washington, D.C. –The WNBA announced today that the Washington Mystics’ 16th season will tip off on the road against the Tulsa Shock on Monday, May 27, at 3:00 p.m. in a game that will be televised on ESPN2. Washington will return for their home opener to face Eastern Conference rivals the Atlanta Dream on Sunday, June 2, at 4:00 p.m.

“I think this is an excellent schedule for our fans and our players, “said Head Coach and General Manager Mike Thibault. “The schedule is well-balanced between home and away games. Since I expect the Eastern Conference playoff race to be tight, the fact that our last eleven games of the season are against conference opponents will only heighten the excitement. We are looking forward to getting started.”

Following their home opener, the Mystics will play the Sun in Connecticut on June 7 at 7:00 p.m. and will return home for contests against the last two WNBA champions, the Minnesota Lynx (2011) on June 8 at 7:00 p.m. and Indiana Fever (2012) on June 16 at 2:00 p.m.

The Mystics will continue their annual camp day game for local children’s camps and groups on Wednesday, July 24, at 11:30 a.m. against the Chicago Sky. The team’s west coast swing will be early in the season with stops in Seattle (June 18), Phoenix (June 21) and Los Angeles (June 23). The Mystics will play 11 of their 17 regular season homes games on the weekend. All weekday (with the exception of camp day) and Saturday home games will tip off at 7:00 p.m. Sunday home games will start at 4:00 p.m., with the exception of the 2:00 p.m. tip off on June 16 vs. Indiana.

The WNBA’s Washington Mystics are owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. The group also owns and operates the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and Verizon Center – the premier sports and entertainment venue in Washington, D.C. Monumental Sports & Entertainment also oversees the management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the state-of-the-art training facility for the Capitals, and George Mason University’s Patriot Center.

The following is a complete listing of the Mystics 2013 schedule. Home games are in BOLD. All times are listed as Eastern Daylight Time.

2013 Washington Mystics Schedule

DATE                         OPPONENT                          TIME             TV 

May   Mon. 27  AT Tulsa                         3:00 pm    ESPN2

Jun.  Sun.  2     Atlanta                       4:00 pm

Fri.  7  AT Connecticut                   7:00 pm

Sat.  8     Minnesota                     7:00 pm

Sun. 16     Indiana                       2:00 pm

Tue. 18  AT Seattle                       10:00 pm

Fri. 21  AT Phoenix                       10:00 pm

Sun. 23  AT Los Angeles                   8:30 pm

Thu. 27     Phoenix                       7:00 pm

Fri. 28  AT Atlanta                       7:30 pm

Sun. 30     Tulsa                         4:00 pm

Jul.  Sat.  6     Seattle                       7:00 pm

Wed. 10  AT Chicago                       12:30 pm

Fri. 12  AT San Antonio                   8:00 pm

Tue. 16     San Antonio                   7:00 pm

Fri. 19  AT Indiana                       7:00 pm

Sun. 21     Indiana                       4:00 pm

Wed. 24     Chicago                       11:30 am

Wed. 31     New York                      7:00 pm

Aug.  Fri.  2  AT Chicago                       8:30 pm

Sun.  4     Los Angeles                   4:00 pm

Tue.  6  AT New York                      11:00 am

Thu.  8  AT Minnesota                     8:00 pm

Sun. 11     Connecticut                   4:00 pm

Fri. 16  AT New York                      7:30 pm

Sun. 18  AT Atlanta                       3:00 pm

Tue. 20     Chicago                       7:00 pm

Fri. 23     Atlanta                       7:00 pm

Wed. 28  AT Atlanta                       7:00 pm

Sep.  Fri.  6  AT Connecticut                   7:00 pm

Sun.  8     Chicago                       4:00 pm

Tue. 10  AT Indiana                       7:00 pm

Fri. 13     Connecticut                   7:00 pm

Sun. 15     New York                      4:00 pm

MYSTICS: Washington Mystics Celebrate 15th Anniversary Season

MYSTICS CELEBRATE 15th ANNIVERSARY SEASON

Team to Commemorate Milestone with Fan Initiatives Throughout 2012 Campaign

Washington, D.C. –The Washington Mystics will commemorate their upcoming 15th anniversary season by unveiling a series of fan initiatives throughout the year.

The metropolitan area’s most successful female sports team was introduced to the Washington D.C. sport landscape in 1997 before tipping off their inaugural home game on June 19, 1998, against the Utah Starzz. Washington is one of three WNBA franchises to have hosted multiple All-Star games (2002, 2007).

“We look forward to celebrating the Washington Mystics’ 15th anniversary with our partners and our fans,” said Chief Operating Officer Greg Bibb. “We are proud to share this milestone in the same year that we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX. Two important milestones that we will commemorate this summer, along with joining the Girls Scouts in recognition of their centennial.”

The highlight of the 15th anniversary season will be a digital campaign that will allow fans to vote for the All-Time Mystics Team. Online voting will start on May 19 and the all-time team will be unveiled individually during the Olympic break (Jul. 14-Aug. 12) . The entire team will be honored on August 19, which will mark the Mystics’ first home game following the Olympic break. Candidates for the All-time Mystics team include Chamique Holdsclaw, Murriel Page, Coco Miller, Nikki McCray and Crystal Langhorne to name a few.

In addition, at every home game this season, a lucky fan will have a chance to win $15,000 by participating in the 15k for 15 years Shootout while Founding Fans (who have been season ticket holders since the inception of the franchise) will be recognized for their support of the team with a reception prior to the season opener.

The team will also join the Girl Scouts in celebrating their 100th anniversary with a game on June 8 dedicated to the organization. The next day, over two hundred thousands Girl Scouts are expected on the National Mall for the world’s largest sing-along.

The Mystics will also continue to support their longstanding community initiatives such as the CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield Diaper Drive on September 7, benefiting the March of Dimes and the Breast Health Awareness Game on September 16 presented by Inova.

The WNBA’s Washington Mystics are owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. The group also owns and operates the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and Verizon Center – the premier sports and entertainment venue in Washington, D.C. Monumental Sports & Entertainment also oversees the management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the state-of-the-art training facility for the Capitals, and George Mason University’s Patriot Center.

MYSTICS: Inova and Washington Mystics to Continue Marquee Partnership

INOVA AND WASHINGTON MYSTICS TO CONTINUE MARQUEE PARTNERSHIP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Mystics announced today that the team will continue their marquee partnership with Inova for a second consecutive year. Mystics players will again wear Inova’s name and logo on the front of their home and away jerseys, shooting shirts and community apparel during the upcoming 2012 WNBA season. New to the partnership is Inova’s involvement with the team’s annual Breast Health Awareness Game to be held on Sunday, September 16, at 4:00 p.m. The Mystics have raised over $180,000 for breast cancer initiatives over the past four seasons.

“The Inova/Mystics partnership works to build healthy communities by focusing on individual health and disease prevention,” commented Rod Williams, Vice President of Community Affairs, Inova Health System. “Together, offering and promoting wellness programs and initiatives empowering individuals to take charge of their lives, we are positively impacting the health of the Metropolitan region.”

Inova will remain the presenting partner of the Washington Mystics and Wizards Youth Basketball Camps and will receive co-branding on signage pertaining to camps and clinics, in-arena recognition at all Mystics and Wizards home games and presence in marketing and social media platforms.

“We are pleased to continue our marquee partnership with Inova,” Mystics Chief Operating Officer Greg Bibb stated. “Our organizations remain committed to improving the overall health of the greater Washington, D.C. region and we are particularly focused on the health issues affecting children and women. With this thought in mind, we are excited to continue our healthy lifestyle program for youth this season while we look forward to raising dollars for the Inova Breast Care Institute for the first time through our annual jersey auction.”

About Inova
Inova Health System is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals and other health services, including emergency- and urgent-care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes. Governed by a voluntary board of community members, Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research. Inova provides a healthy environment for its patients, families, visitors, staff and physicians by prohibiting tobacco use on its campuses.

About the Washington Mystics
Celebrating their 15th season, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics are owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. The group also owns and operates the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and Verizon Center – the premier sports and entertainment venue in Washington, D.C. Monumental Sports & Entertainment also oversees the management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the state-of-the-art training facility for the Capitals, and George Mason University’s Patriot Center.

Washington Mystics Matee Ajavon Re-Signs

For Immediate Release
March 6, 2012

AJAVON RE-SIGNS WITH MYSTICS

Washington, D.C. – Washington Mystics General Manager and Head Coach Trudi Lacey announced today that the team will match the Atlanta Dream’s offer for restricted free agent guard Matee Ajavon and she will return to the team. Per team policy, terms of the contract will not be released.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Matee return to the Mystics,” stated Lacey. “The experience she gained last season is invaluable and she will be an integral component to our quest to return to the WNBA playoffs.”

Ajavon returns to the Mystics following a breakout 2011 season that saw her finish second in the voting for the league’s Most Improved Player. She set career highs in virtually all categories, including points (14.9), minutes (31.3), rebounds (2.4) and assists per game (3.1). She also finished the season among the league leaders in steals per game (7th), free throws (7th) and minutes played (8th).

Ajavon was selected as the second pick in the 2008 Dispersal Draft following her rookie season with the Houston Comets. A standout point guard at Rutgers University, Ajavon helped her school to four NCAA tournament appearances and to the 2007 National Championship game against the University of Tennessee. In 2007, she was named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team and the Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player. She also earned additional honors such as All-Big East First Team in 2006, Big East Freshman of the Year and All-Big East Freshman Team in 2005.

The Washington Mystics will tip off the 2012 season on Saturday, May 19 against the Chicago Sky. Season tickets for the 2012 season are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Mystics Sales Office at 1-877-DC-HOOP1 or by visiting the Mystics web site at www.washingtonmystics.com.

Celebrating their 15th season, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics are owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. The group also owns and operates the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and Verizon Center – the premier sports and entertainment venue in Washington, D.C. Monumental Sports & Entertainment also oversees the management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the state-of-the-art training facility for the Capitals, and George Mason University’s Patriot Center.

%d bloggers like this: