Latta an All-Star Again

For the second year in a row and the second time of her career, veteran point guard Ivory Latta of the Washington Mystics is a WNBA All-Star.

After signing with the Mystics in February of 2013, Latta has quickly become a fan favorite with both her on-court performance and infectious smile. She is once again the teamís leading scorer, averaging 11.1 points per game, but more than just being a talented scorer, Latta has proved invaluable in high-pressure situations.

There are nights when Latta can drop 25 points on 8-11 shooting, including 7-9 from behind the arc, like she did in the season-opener against the Minnesota Lynx. And then there are also nights where she could struggle the entire game but save the team with clutch shots in pressure situations, as she did in the instant classic triple-overtime win over the Los Angeles Sparks on June 1st. Those are the nights that make Latta special.

As said across professional sports, star players often have short memories. During the game against Los Angeles, Latta shot only 4-17 from the field and had trouble scoring throughout regulation, except when it came to crunch time. One cannot overstate the importance of her four field goals in that game. Without Lattaís crucial plays late in the game and her short memory, the Mystics would have dropped a heartbreaker against the Sparks. Instead, Washington was able to squeeze out a hard-fought win and a much-needed confidence booster for a young team.

Latta has thrived under head coach Mike Thibault and her stats reflect how well she meshes in his system. In the teamís last eight games, Latta has scored in double-figures in seven of them, the one exception being a nine-point performance in the win against the Chicago Sky on July 9th.

But more than her talents, Latta also brings important intangibles to the team. Being a veteran point guard, she is naturally looked to as a leader. She is often the most vocal player on the court and her on-court toughness would often make some distrust her reported 5í6Ē frame. Her tenacity is an important part of the team, but it also serves as a valuable example for rookie guard Bria Hartley. Playing alongside Latta, Hartley is able to see how the veteran all-star handles herself and leads the team through the ups and downs of a season, whether itís battling on the court against professional talent or handling the media after tough losses.

Ivory Latta is a huge part of this Washington Mystics team, and in her two years as a Mystic, she has now been selected to the All-Star game twice. Well done and well deserved, Ivory.