Washington Mystics

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WNBA rookies learn the ropes



By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Wearing a visitors’ uniform in her hometown is nothing new for Tayler Hill. Although she wore the Washington Mystics’ red road colors in the August 8 game against Minnesota, the host crowd warmly greeted the Minneapolis South and Ohio State graduate as she entered the contest near the three-minute mark left in the opening quarter. “The [Minnesota] fans never boo me,” says Hill. “I’ve always have been on opposite teams, and they still support me.”

The last time she talked with the MSR was a few hours after the Mystics selected her with their top pick (fourth overall) back in April. “We joked about it that she was the first draft of the other draft,” says Mystics Coach Mike Thibault on the Hill selection after the top three overall picks. Continue Reading →

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Tina Thompson, last of the originals, takes a final bow



Tina Thompson (Seattle) is the WNBA’s last original player. Fittingly, the 38-year-old Thompson, the league’s first player selected in 1997 who since has played in every season, was named as an All-Star replacement player by WNBA President Laurel Richie. As a result, Thompson, the 2000 All-Star MVP and the W’s all-time leader in points, field goals and minutes played, last weekend set a league record ninth All-Star appearance in 12 seasons. “Anytime you get asked to play in the All-Star Game, it is a great honor,” she said. “I actually didn’t know that I set the record for appearances until I got here.”

“She is a great person to come in and let everybody, let all the fans give her that last [applause],” said Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus of Thompson. Continue Reading →

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WNBA assistant coaches work hard behind the scenes


Shelley Patterson is one of seven Black assistant coaches in the WNBA — only Tulsa, Seattle and Indiana have no Blacks on their staffs. Last season, her second on the Minnesota Lynx bench, Patterson became the first Black woman since 2009 to be on a championship-winning ball club. “I’ve been with some good teams, but from [Lynx] player one to player 11, I love every single one of them. They respect each other and respect us,” she points out. Unlike the NBA, which seemingly has a coach for every three players, a WNBA coaching staff consists only of a head coach and a maximum of two assistants. Continue Reading →

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