April 2009

Thursday, April 30th - Chasity Melvin is back for another must read blog.

Hello Everyone,

It's been great being back in DC and working out with the coaches. Luby my post coach has been teaching me some new things and I'm excited about that. I also had a chance to work out with Vicki and that was great, great great great great. I'm so glad she is going to be a part of the staff. It's alawys good to be able to work with a player you have admired and watched for so long. I aint saying I'm just saying because I want to shoot the 3s like Vicki and do what I have to do to be better than Chasity. I got to show off my ball handing skills to Coach Plank, I told her I could dribble. She didnt really believe me so I had to teach her. Yeah if you don't know ask about me, that hesitation dribble is tight. Coach Lacey has been getting on me about that weak side, working on it...Trudy. Remember the Titans, well I do and all I have to say is "STRONGSIDE", I ain't saying I'm just saying. I had to give a shout out to my coaches with all the voluntairy time we've shared, but I ain't saying I'm just saying.

Other than workouts I've had a minute to get adjusted on being back in DC gotta love the traffic. I remember when I first got here I was so overwhelmed by the traffic, yeah hated it, and guess what I still do. I'm so happy to be back! I revisted my favorite restaurant, Carlyle's in Virginia and it was even better than before. I've met up with old friends and everything has been kosher Pickles. My birthday is Sunday and camp will be starting soon. Once again it will be on and popping DJ rocking. I'm going away with my Mother and sisters for my birthday get in that quality time because they won't get it once the season starts. I'm full of focus man, games on my mind, mind on the games, practice too. I mean practice, you want to talk about practice, let me stop I got to go get ready to turn 33 on Sunday. They say I'm getting old but they don't see what I can see. You know what they say, if I had know then what I know now...I ain't saying well you finish the sentence for me. One more thing, I went to the Hawks-Heat game last night and I got to meet my favorite rapper T.I. He gave me a hug and for a minute we had a connection. I realized how short he was and it hit me that this connection wouldnt last. So it was what it was, just a connection. He is so fine and his swagger, I'm just saying a few more inches and uhmmmm aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh uhmmmmmmmmmm I would have been able to look him in the eye.

I'm out Mystics basketball is in and it is AS Real AS IT GETS. Until next time Happy Birthday to me...

Chas

Wednesday, April 29th - Another Mystics rookie, Veronica Sander, introduces herself to the Mystics fans.

Greetings Mystics Fans!

Wow, wasn’t Natalia’s blog great last Friday? I must say that it isn’t going to be easy to follow that one, but as another recent addition to the Mystics team I am going to do my best.

Yesterday was the conclusion of my third week with the Mystics and I must say: I can’t wait to move to DC! I am currently commuting from the Baltimore area and I do not enjoy the hour to hour and a half commute each way. Sometimes it is shorter (as my co-worker Chris would say) but more times than not it takes an hour and a half. Thank you Chris for the shortcut info, it definitely helps. Once I get to work, it is smooth sailing and I have to give credit to Erin for that. Ever since I started, she has been explaining to me the various ticket packages, group initiatives and experiences we have to offer. More importantly, she answers every single question I ask (and I ask a lot of questions). Thank you Erin!

Let me tell you a little bit about where I come from. I was born in Denver, Colorado and grew up in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Where is that? Well if you’ve ever heard of James Madison University, you’ve heard of Harrisonburg. Many believe that Harrisonburg only exists because of JMU, but the former was definitely present before the latter. Harrisonburg is also the hometown to one of the 2009 WNBA Draft top picks. Who might you ask? Kristi Toliver that is! I had the pleasure of watching Kristi play ball as she grew up on various AAU, JV and Varsity teams throughout our school years. It seemed like Kristi was always winning basketball awards and leading her team to victory, all the while staying the cool and down to earth person we all knew. I can’t wait until she comes to town on June 20th to play against her former teammate Marissa Coleman and I have the opportunity to see her play at yet another level. Go Kristi!

Thanks to all the Mystics fans I have met thus far and the warm welcome I have received. This is going to be a great year and I am very happy to be a part of it. Please make sure you are there to celebrate with us and I look forward to meeting you all throughout the season!

-Veronica

Tuesday, April 28th - Angela Taylor talks about learning to Rock the Red, the NFL draft and training camp.

Hey Mystics Fans,

Tonight’s a big night down here at the Verizon Center for our beloved Capitals. Thanks to the patient teachings from Mikhail, our basketball ops staff is so much more in tune with what’s going on during a hockey game. All I can say is, “Let’s Rock the Red” tonight. I can honestly say that I haven’t spent a lot of time watching hockey in person or on television during my life, but I am loving this Capitals team (plus I wouldn’t mind if some of their good fortune rubs off on the Mystics this season).

Well, this past weekend in the DMV was simply gorgeous. After a winter full of travel, unpacking, and college scouting…it was nice to enjoy a relaxing weekend at home. One would think this weekend would have consisted of some site-seeing, maybe a BBQ, shopping, etc….Well….

While I was able to get out and enjoy the weather, I found myself intrigued by the NFL Draft. After having gone through a draft that lasted maybe two hours only two weeks prior, I found it fascinating that these teams had to muster up the endurance to spend two entire days drafting players who hopefully will eventually make their team better. Unfortunately, my Cowboys seem to be one of the losers of this year’s draft with their 12 selections (all on day 2 of the draft). Hopefully, they were able to find quality in their quantity of picks!!!

All in all, ESPN’s coverage of the NFL Draft is impressive. Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay have definitely done their homework on tons of players and the analysis by their broadcast team is compelling.

I want to say “congratulations” to my counterpart Penny Toler (General Manager of the Los Angeles Sparks) whose nephew, Greg Toler (a DC native), was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth round. As soon as I saw his name, I shot a text to Penny to congratulate her and you could tell by her response that she was ecstatic. I remember the days when a younger Greg Toler would spend the summer out in LA with his aunt running around Staples Center watching the Sparks play. I know Penny is very proud of what he has accomplished. I can’t wait to watch him this season.

At the end of the day, my favorite story from the NFL Draft was that of Michael Oher who was selected in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens. If you didn’t see the feature SportsCenter did on him, you should Google his story. He was a homeless teenager who was taken in by a Caucasian family in Mississippi when he was in high school. In tears when his name was called, he later promised that regardless of how high he was drafted, he was going to work hard and enjoy every moment. It was a nice moment! There’s no doubt that interview will be replayed for years to come on draft day. I think his story was featured in a book and apparently they have already written a script for it to be made into a movie. I will definitely have to follow his career.

Well enough NFL chatter, these are exciting times around the office as many of our Mystics players return from overseas. Coach Plank and I were pleasantly surprised this morning when we both pulled into the parking garage and saw Alana Beard’s car parked there. Five minutes later, we found AB and Mo in the weight room getting a workout in less than 16 hours after they landed back in the U.S.!!! Enough said.

Crystal Langhorne returned from a great off-season in Lithuania, Crystal Smith is back from a great year in Greece, Nakia is on her way back from Russia, AB and Mo are back after winning the Polish Championship (Congrats), Tasha has been back since early April, and Linsdey and Matee could possibly face each other in the Turkish Championship series. It’s been a very successful off-season for many of our Mystics players, so we look forward to their on-court success carrying over this season in the WNBA!

To all of the graduating seniors out there, congratulations and enjoy every moment of your final days in school.

Only 19 days until training camp opens! Can’t wait!

If you haven’t already renewed your seats or purchased your season tickets, you don’t want to miss out. Call us today!!

Go Mystics,
Angela

Monday, April 27th - Taryn Bushrod introduces herself to the Mystics fans.

Greetings Mystics world, my name is Taryn and I am from Baltimore, MD. I joined the Mystics family in November and if you’ve ever been to our office I am the first person you see when you walk through the glass doors. This is the best front office in the league and truly the greatest work environment I’ve ever experienced.

I must say that I am a travel bug, from short train rides to New York to jet setting to the likes of Miami, New Orleans, or overseas. I have been traveling since a young age and have vowed to make it a way of life. Before I begin working here I used to travel every three months, but now that I have embarked upon the real world my lifestyle had to change. However, I am surely looking forward to New Orleans Jazz Fest. A golden opportunity to escape DC for some southern hospitality is a much needed escape. Let’s not forget about the authentic Louisiana cuisines that I’m going to indulge in such as gumbo and shrimp etouffee Mmmm. If you can’t tell I am a big food lover and I favor seafood over any other food group.

Final thought…travel now because you don’t have much time before the season begins. We will be spending a lot of time together at the Verizon Center and I can’t wait for the fun to begin.

Taryn

Friday, April 24th - Natalia Isaac introduces herself to the Mystics faithful.

Hey Mystics Fans!

As one of the newest additions to the Mystics family, it is with great pleasure that I introduce myself to you all. I am the Coordinator of Basketball Operations for the Mystics. What is that, you ask? Here's the best way to put it: I am the sous chef of the team. I get everything ready and fill in when needed so that our basketball operations staff and players can just come right in and cook us up some wins! Corny? Absolutely. But you get the picture.

I'm a native of Falls Church, VA so I'm very familiar with the DMV (DC, MD, VA for those thinking I'm talking about the Department of Motor Vehicles). I played my college ball at Temple University in Philadelphia ('02) for 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Dawn Staley. I had some of the best years of my life playing and working with Coach Staley as she exposed me to a world of opportunities in, not just the game of basketball, but the game of life. Great athlete....great coach....even better person. (Run that endorsement money in Coach!)

The Mystics staff here has been awesome and fun to work with everyday. One person who has been instrumental to me is Sheila Robinson, our Office Manager. She is on top of everything that goes on in our office and runs a pretty tight ship. Sheila has been very kind to me and I know that she has my back. But something unusual happened one day. I happened to change the toner in one of the printers and was a little unsure of if I needed to give the used toner to Sheila to inventory. Well, she wasn't at her desk at the time so I decide to package the old toner nice and neatly and set behind her desk for when she returned. I caught up with her a while later and mentioned the toner and she kindly told me how to handle it. Cool! So as I’m in the mailroom sealing up the toner boxes, in sashays Nicole Jones, one of our Mystics Ticket Sales Reps and fellow Temple Owl. The first words out of her mouth were, “Oh…so you’re the culprit.” Huh? Then I put it all together. Ran back to my desk and checked my Mystics email account and low and behold, Sheila had put me on email blast about leaving stuff on her desk! She wasted no time sending out that mass email to the staff and for that she is now known as the Head Laptop Gangster of the Email Mafia! It has also been a pleasure working with Angela, Coach Plank, Luby, Trudi, and Vicky. These individuals are very good at what they do and are passionate about winning and turning this organization around. I’m just very grateful for the opportunity to be able to work amongst these great basketball minds and I know that, collectively, we will make our players better.

As you all know, we drafted Marissa Coleman with our #2 pick! Angela mentioned in an interview that we kind of adopted the Terps over the last two months since we did a lot of evaluating down at Maryland. I'm going to take it a step further and say that I actually started to believe I was a Terrapin! Not a good look being that I am an Owl from THE Temple University. :) After the draft, I surprised my mom with a personalized, autographed photo from Marissa. Little did I know that the photo would find a place next to my grandmother amongst my family photos in my house. Ummm....Mom? You were supposed to post the picture on your desk at work. Welcome to family MC4!

Speaking of family....we have had some players in town working out over the last few weeks. It's been good seeing them working hard and getting ready for this special season we're going to have. I'm very familiar with all of the players athletically, but I'm now able to see the other sides of them and all I can say is...we have a cast of characters. From Chasity proclaiming her love for this game after a made 3 pointer to Tasha teaching Trudi the ‘Stanky Leg’ and then uploading the ‘Stanky Leg’ ringtone to her phone...I think this season will certainly be entertaining! The rest of our team should finally be heading back stateside over the next few weeks.

Shout out to the Squad! I came up with the name for our quad of staff members (Me, Mikhail, Cassaundra, & Joey) simply because we are outside of the 4 walls that the coaching staff operates within. Until I come up with something clever, the coaching staff's nickname will be the Chit Chat All-Stars, led by All-Americans Coach Plank and Coach Lacey! First-team All-Defensive Chit Chat goes to Angela!

I don't want any parts of the All-Chit Chat Team so I'm done writing 'til next time! Make sure you get your Mystics season tickets! It will be a great summer!

-Natalia

Thursday, April 23rd - Greg Bibb checks in.

Welcome back. Hopefully, the weather is nice in your corner of the world. Here in the nation’s capital, we are expecting sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80’s this weekend. I can’t wait! Here’s what’s on my mind this 22nd day of April, 2009.

Caps Playoff Package

We are proud to partner with the Washington Capitals on an exclusive playoff package. This offering includes a Mezzanine End ticket to Game 5 of the Caps-Rangers playoff series to be contested on Friday night. You also receive an all-you-can-eat buffet as well as unlimited beer, wine and soda. In addition, a 2009 Mystics Upper End Zone season ticket, a Capitals New Era baseball cap and a Capitals rally towel are included. The value of the package is $295, but is currently being offered for $175. The food and drink in the package is available for one hour before the game and concludes when the puck is dropped to start the first period. If you are interested give Maria Giovannetti (202-527-7512) or Megan Burda (202-527-7511) a call today.

Happy Birthday, Brandon

I want to wish a belated happy birthday to my nephew, Brandon, who turned four on Wednesday. Brandon promises me that as soon as he can read, he’ll be a weekly visitor to this blog.

Introducing the 2009 Mystics Mayhem!

This past Sunday, auditions were held for the 2009 Mystics Mayhem. After a great tryout, 19 performers, ages seven to 13, were selected to be members of our in-game entertainment group. This year’s team is younger than years past (by design), but surely doesn’t lack anything in the talent department. Please help us cheer on the 2009 version of the Mayhem at home games this season.

The Club…A Sneak Peek

I have been talking about our new club for several months now. As the calendar prepares to turn to May, I thought it was time to show you a picture of what this truly unique space will look like. Take a peak…

Remember, for just $75 per game, you get access to this area and all the food and drink you want from the time doors open through the end of halftime (sample menu below). Club capacity is limited to just 58 seats, so if you want to see and be seen in the Mystics newest offering, call us today.

The Club Sample Menu

• Pulled Pork Sandwiches
• Kosher-style Hot Dogs
• BLT Salad
• Chips
• Pretzels
• Peanuts
• Snack Mix
• Beer
• Wine
• Soda
• Water

Sheila Johnson Open House

Mystics Managing Partner and President, Sheila Johnson, will be hosting an open house in the Mystics Verizon Center offices for season ticket holders and corporate partners on Thursday, June 4. In addition to Ms. Johnson, the entire Mystics front office, coaching staff and roster will be in attendance. If you are a current season ticket holder, you will receive an invitation to this special event in the coming weeks. If you’re not a season ticket holder, there’s still time to get on board and be a part of this special event.

Quote of the Week

“Everybody is gifted; it’s just that some people never open the package.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• How long with the Toronto Blue Jays and Florida Marlins continue to lead their respective divisions?
• Tonight is the last class of the semester at Georgetown. I have really enjoyed the students and the experience. Hopefully, I’ll be asked back again next year.
• I’m taking a segway tour of DC with my wife this weekend. If I survive, I will be sure to provide details in my next blog.
• Looking forward to a long weekend in Florida next week.
• Just 44 days until the Mystics tip-off the 2009 season!

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, April 22nd - Dana Simonelli talks about her upcoming road trip.

Hey Mystics Fans,

It is good to be back in the blog world. Here is what is on my mind this time around...

I am happy to report that I will be taking a road trip in one week. I am going to visit my best friend from college in Sewanee, TN. So you may ask, "Where in the heck is Sewanee and why are you going there, out of all places?" Well, Terza, my best friend has been living there for almost a year and I always try to make sure I visit her. She teaches at Sewanee: the University of the South in Tennessee and happens to have a doctorate in political science. I am very proud of her.

She encouraged me to visit and lives in the mountains (Cumberland Plateau), one and a half hours east of Nashville, where I will be flying into. She has spoken fondly of this place, if you want to go and relax. I am all for relaxing, but I am beginning to think I may also need a little action for the five days I will be there. I am told we will find this action in either Nashville or Atlanta. We plan to go to both places. Terza lived in Atlanta, so we both have very fond memories of hanging out in the ATL. Maybe a little too fond as I think about it!

In any event, I am looking forward to this overdue visit. We will have girlfriend time and a chance to catch up. It will also be nice to finally meet her stepson, Eri. He is ten years old and she tells me he is very funny. Well, I will fill you in on the happenings next time.

Take Care,
Dana

Tuesday, April 21st - Julie Plank recaps the overseas action.

Hello Mystics Fans!

This is my first blog since the college draft, and I just want you all to know how ecstatic I am about the players we selected to be a part of the Mystic organization. I am very pleased with the additions of: #2 pick Marissa Coleman, #23 pick Camille Lenoir, #24 pick Jelena Milovanovic, and #28 pick Josephine Owino. I am assuming many of you have watched Marissa Coleman play throughout her career at Maryland. Well, if you haven’t, let me tell you “she is special”! Not only is she an outstanding versatile player, but she brings many intangible qualities to the table as well. Marissa plays with an incredible amount of passion, is very unselfish, contributes on both ends of the court, and is a great leader. Even though she graduated from Maryland, she told me that many of her new teammates contacted her immediately (and a few of those were Dukies)! I know my staff, along with Angela Taylor our GM, are very confident that Marissa will bring that “championship mentality” to our Mystic’s team! She is a WINNER!

The best thing about the draft being over is now our staff is working with many of our current players on the court. Camille Lenoir, rookie point guard from USC, was here last week working out, along with Marissa Coleman. Josephine Owino will be at the Verizon Center this week with our staff as well. We have also been blessed to have some of our returning players in DC working out. Chasity Melvin, Tasha Humphrey and Nikki Blue are getting to know the new staff and what our expectations are for this year. They are doing really well, and are very excited about this summer. Our staff brings in local guys to compete and play against our players, which is extremely beneficial! We totally appreciate the time our “practice guys” put into making our team better! The highlight of the day seems to be the 3 pt shooting contest at the end, which Chasity continues to brag about! She was a perfect 7 for 7 on day 1!!!

With less than a month before the start of training camp, many of our players are finishing up their overseas obligations and doing very well.

Just this past weekend, Crystal Langhorne was named ‘Player of the Year’ in the Baltic League, and also received ‘All-Defensive’ honors!

Crystal competed against Kristen Mann’s team (Cesis) in the finals and both played awesome. Crystal led all scorers with 28 points in the Championship game. Kristen poured in 22 pts in the semi-finals, and was also named to the 1st Team. Congrats go out to Nakia Sanford, as she was named to the 1st Team All-Euro Cup Team! Her efforts were recognized, along with Eshaya Murphy being named to the 2nd Team. Alana Beard and Monique Currie are currently playing in the Polish League Finals, against AZS Gorzow. They are up in the series 2-0, and should finish up in the next week or so. In Turkey, we have Lindsey Harding (Mersin) and Matee Ajavon (Fenerbache) battling out in the Final Four. Both guards are getting it done, on both ends of the floor! Coco Miller (Russia) and Crystal Smith (Greece) are finishing up their off-seasons as well, and have put up some good numbers on their respective teams.

Upon returning to the USA, we hope our players get some much needed rest, take care of their bodies, and rejuvenate for training camp, which begins on May 17th. Lisa Ciaravella, our new strength coach will be joining our staff in early May, to work with our players too. I cannot tell you how great she will be for our team! She will have them in awesome shape, and will challenge them every workout. She will do a lot of testing in early May, to evaluate where our players are fitness-wise. Lisa will then conduct our weight training and conditioning programs throughout the season. Navin Hettiarachchi, our trainer, has been keeping in touch with players, to make sure they are healthy and ready to go too! There is no better trainer in the WNBA!

Our coaching staff is working hard every day, just like our players. We put in countless hours preparing for our upcoming training camp, talking about our offensive and defensive playbook, watching film of our WNBA opponents, and discussing how to make our roster better. I have an unbelievable staff, which makes it fun to come to work every day! Like I said when I first took this job, “You Win With People” and I have some GREAT people surrounding me! Angela Taylor has been wonderful to work with, and truly wants this Washington Mystic’s team to bring a Championship to DC. TOGETHER we will get it done!!!

Thanks to all of you for your support, enthusiasm, and kind words. I know our staff and players truly appreciate the DC fans, and we WILL give you something to cheer about this summer!

Until next time…Coach Plank

Monday, April 20th - Ketsia Colimon talks about the new change in her life.

Hey Mystics fans,

Hope you are all doing well. As you can imagine, things are moving at a much faster pace these days for us and we couldn’t be happier. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the potential of our team and I can’t wait to see it unfold.

I decided to take a big step, one that I have been thinking about for years….I decided to dye my hair. For the past three years or so I have been putting rinses in my hair. Sadly, no one noticed. I would have to tilt my head a certain way in the right light for even a hint of color to appear. So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to bite the bullet and did it. My hairdresser Lya chose everything as I am quite the novice when it comes to all that stuff. She said to me “sit” and the joy in her voice was hard to disguise as she had in her hands a willing, albeit scared, customer.

Three hours later (FYI that is my idea of hell, that amount of time for beauty but moving on), my hair was so light all I could think about is “I DON’T LOOK ANYTHING LIKE MY LICENSE.” I mean, I know that none of us ever look like the picture on our license but COME ON. What would happen if I got pulled over? A liable occurrence in my life with my lead foot. My mother wryly explained to me that hair color is not the only thing that cops look for when they check ids…phew.

Anyhoo, if you see a new girl sitting at the scorers table this season, its just me so keep saying hello.

Sam Update

My little man turned one a couple of weeks ago. We can’t believe it, it all goes so fast!

Take care
Ketsia

Friday, April 17th - Nicole Boden talks Easter Egg Roll and play dates.

Hey Mystics fans! Can you believe that the 2009 season is right around the corner? We are all very excited and looking forward to what 09 has in store for the Mystics! Since the draft things have really picked up around here. We've had Marissa Coleman all over town meeting fans and promoting the upcoming season! We were very lucky to have her and Nikki Blue represent the Mystics at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll! Unfortunately they didn’t have a chance to roll eggs with President Obama. Maybe next year or even better once we win the WNBA Championship our players will get to meet him in person.

While we’re on the subject of the President, I’m sure we’ve all heard by now that the President and his family have finally decided on a dog and Bo is now part of the family. I’ve also read that Bo was originally going to be named Charlie. Now, we all know there is only one Charlie in DC and that is my dog Charlie. But if they would like to schedule a play date between the two that can always be arranged.

Well Mystics fans, there are a little over seven weeks until the start of the season. It has been a long and busy off-season and I am ready for our team to hit the floor again. And finally, I want to give a shout out to all my MVP members for doing an outstanding job selling season tickets!

I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the games.

Nicole

Thursday, April 16th - Greg Bibb checks in.

Happy mid-April to everyone. We are now just one month and two days from the start of training camp. Players are beginning to return to town. Equipment and supplies for the season are arriving daily. The season is inching closer. Here’s what’s on my mind this 15th day of April, 2009.

Draft Rewind

I thought we had a very productive draft. Selecting Marissa Coleman with the second overall pick provides us with a multi-dimensional player who will play primarily at the three spot, but can also grab some minutes at the two. She shoots the ball well, can rebound, does a nice job at the free-throw line and she is a proven winner. I’m looking forward to watching her compete against Monique Currie during our training camp.

I’m also excited to see Camille Lenoir, our first selection in the second round (#23 overall) and Josephine Owino, our third round pick (#28 overall) during training camp. Lenoir is a highly skilled point guard from the University of Southern California while Owino is a two-time NAIA Player-of-the Year out of Union University. Lenoir averaged 11.4 points during her USC tenure and earned Pac-10 academic honors. Owino, originally from Kenya, averaged 19.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game leading Union to the NAIA title.

Jelena Milovanovic, our second selection in the second round (#24 overall) hails from Sopron, Hungary. She is a six-foot, four-inch forward/center who led her team to the under-18 European Championship, posting 16.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. It is still unclear whether we will have Milovanovic with us during the 2009 season, but we are excited about seeing her in a Mystics uniform sometime in the future.

Four new players bring more talent to the Mystics roster. Combine these additions with a roster shrinking from 13 to 11 players and the 2009 training camp promises to be ultra-competitive.

Thanks, Marissa

Speaking of Marissa Coleman (part I), our first round pick was kind enough to spend the evening with the Mystics faithful on Tuesday night. Marissa joined Mystics front office staff and almost 200 fans at Bar Louie for an exclusive meet-and-greet event. The soon-to-be Maryland graduate signed autographs, answered questions and took pictures. A good time was had by all. Thanks, Marissa.

Coleman’s Corner

Speaking of Marissa (part II), the Mystics have rolled out a brand new ticket package to honor our hometown draft pick. Coleman’s Corner offers fans a Mystics corner (sections 102 and 103) season ticket, and a special meet-and-greet with Marissa and Kristi Toliver following the June 20 Mystics vs. Chicago Sky contest. Plus, purchasers of the plan will also receive an additional ticket voucher for the June 20 game and a complimentary ticket to a 2009-10 University of Maryland women’s game. The price of the package is $425 and inventory is limited, so give us a call today.

Single Tickets On Sale Now

Just a reminder, single game tickets for the 2009 season are on sale now. You can purchase your seats by contacting Ticketmaster, by visiting washingtonmystics.com, or by calling 1-877-DCHOOP1. Buy early, buy often!

The Club Menu

Several times in recent weeks I have mentioned our new event-level club that will debut during our 2009 season. This club will allow fans the opportunity to sit on the event level of Verizon Center for a Mystics home game and will include complimentary food and beverage from the time doors open for each game through the end of halftime. Here’s a sample of the menu that will be offered with this ticket package:

• Pulled Pork Sandwiches
• Kosher-style Hot Dogs
• BLT Salad
• Chips
• Pretzels
• Peanuts
• Snack Mix
• Beer
• Wine
• Soda
• Water

This package is being offered on a game-by-game basis at the great price of $75 per ticket. The club is limited to 58 people, so if you are interested, contact the Mystics to reserve your spot today.

Website of the Week

It has been awhile since I have provided a good website, but here’s one I had to mention…visit steepandcheap.com. This site sells premium core outdoor gear and clothing at ridiculously low prices. Items are sold one at a time and are offered at awesome prices for as long as the inventory remains. Once an item is sold out, a new one is posted and offered at a discount. One warning, you have to be quick if you want the great deals, because items go fast. You can, however, set-up an instant alert notice to let you know when a new deal is posted. We’re talking about 30%-80% off great stuff, so check it out. Happy shopping!

Quote of the Week

"Your past is not your potential. In any hour you can choose to liberate the future."

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• Caps vs. Rangers should be a great first round playoff match-up. Let’s Go Caps!
• LeBron James should win the NBA MVP Award. It shouldn’t even be close.
• Tara, Adelyn and I had a great time at the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday. It was cold, but where else can you see the Washington Mystics, the Washington Freedom, hundreds of secret service agents, fifty or so Easter Bunnies and Fergie all in one place?


• We had an awesome week in our ticket sales department last week as we sold over 250 new season tickets. Congrats to everyone who helped make this happen and welcome to all of our new season ticket holders.
• Just 51 days until the Mystics tip-off the 2009 season!

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, April 15th - Crystal Hudson talks birthdays.

Happy Wednesday folks!

Please bear with me as my mind attempts to sort out all of its random thoughts…

Marissa Coleman

Can you believe that this time just one week ago, we were all anxiously awaiting the next day’s 2009 WNBA Draft? I feel like Marissa has been around for much longer than just a week; but I guess that’s because we’ve kept her incredibly busy. And might I add, I think our Meet the Draft Pick party held at Bar Louie last night was a blast! Our loyal season ticket holders came out in full force and showed Marissa how we do it, Mystics style. Welcome to the Mystics family, Marissa!

Happy Birthday to Me

In addition to celebrating our #2 overall Draft pick yesterday, I also celebrated my 26th birthday. Here are a few highlights from my special day, in no particular order:

1. Meeting other Aries season ticket holders at last night’s event.

2. Devouring a delicious pineapple & coconut birthday cake, courtesy of Mystics Marketing Manager, Rebecca Hunt.

3. Getting a hug from Mystics COO, Greg Bibb.

4. Receiving a birthday drink from Mystics season ticket holders, Jackie Brooks & Niecie Draper – THANK YOU!!

Happy Birthday Maria

Happy birthday to Mystics Senior Account Executive, Maria Giovannetti, who is celebrating her special day today! Last year we started our annual tradition of celebrating the end of my birthday and beginning of hers together, so we had a blast with our entire front office staff last night (post-Meet the Draft Pick party). If Maria is your account representative, please give her a call or send a quick email wishing her a very happy birthday!

2009 Season

I know I’m not the only one anxiously awaiting the start of this season. As you all know by now, we’ve made many changes in the off-season, and I can’t wait to see what our new coaching staff has in store for us! I can tell just from their energy alone, that this season will be unlike any other season you or I could have imagined. Make sure you get your season tickets today, because you won’t want to be left out when the Mystics play basketball AS REAL AS IT GETS!

-- Crystal

Tuesday, April 14th - Angela Taylor talks about draft day.

Hey Mystics Fans,

With the #2 pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft, the Washington Mystics select….Marissa Coleman!!! Hearing Donna Orender make that statement at about 3:12pm last Thursday sent chills down my spine. It was a very exciting moment for this organization and the culmination of a lot of work that Coach Plank and her staff have put in over the last few months.

In addition to adding Marissa to our roster, we also selected Camille LeNoir a point guard from USC with the #23 pick, Jelena Milovanovic a power forward from Serbia with the #24 pick, and Josephine Owino a center from Union University (by way of Kenya) with the #28 pick.

While draft day now seems like a blur to me, the hours leading up to our selections seemed to drag on forever. But it was well worth the wait. I will share more behind the scenes stories, insight into all four selections, and overall analysis in my upcoming Draft Recap, so stay tuned.

I would also like to thank the best basketball operations staff in the WNBA (Navin, Natalia, Sheila, Cassaundra, Joey, and Mikhail) for all of their hard work & help in making draft day run smoothly for the coaches and I. As Anita Baker would say, “You are simply the best!”

Well, now that the countdown to the draft is over, what’s next? Well, we are only 33 days away from the opening of training camp! Most of our players will be returning to the states over the next 2-3 weeks and seem to be really excited about the start of training camp, which is going to be extremely competitive.

It’s was really nice having our entire coaching staff around last week as we prepared for the draft. They all bring such a unique perspective to our discussions and a vast knowledge of the game to the table. I’m certainly looking forward to the impact they each will have on various aspects of our on-court strategy this season.

Before I go, I’d like to congratulate Geno Auriemma and his UCONN team for completing another undefeated season and cutting down the nets in St. Louis. A very fitting conclusion to the NCAA season.

Well, for now, I will bid you farewell. I promise to provide you with more insight in the Draft Recap, so check out WashingtonMystics.com for more info.

Hope to see you all at tonight’s “Meet the Draft Pick” event (aka Meet Marissa) at Bar Louie at 6:30pm.

Go Mystics,
AT

Monday, April 13th - Maria Giovannetti gives us seven reasons to be a Mystics season ticket holder.

This time of year is pretty much my favorite. I celebrate my friendship anniversary with my best friend, spring is in the air (I love flip flops) and both of my little sisters celebrate birthdays (I use the term "little" not to make myself feel so old. They, in fact, are not so little anymore. The days of throwing them around and chasing them all over the place are definitely over. They are 19 and 16 going on 35 and 27. I'm 5'10" and they are both taller than me). Back to my favorite time of year...March Madness and the WNBA Draft! I could go on for days with my opinion about the draft picks, where each team stands, etc., but I'll spare you for today.

We are slightly more than seven weeks away from the WNBA’s opening weekend! I know many of you have always wanted to become a Mystics season ticket holder. As a STH we all know the quality of basketball you will witness and what dedicated service you’ll receive from the Mystics front office staff. So today, in honor of our seven week countdown, I'm going to list the top seven “non-basketball” related reasons why you’ve always wanted to become a season ticket holder.

In no particular order…

7. DC is too hot and humid in the middle of the summer to be outside.
6. You believe in fitness osmosis. The closer to you get to Coco Miller the more fit you will become.
5. You'd never tell your friends, but you've secretly been hoping to get picked for the Geico trike race during a timeout.
4. You've been meaning to brush up on your Serbian. Now you can with Mystics second round pick, Jelena Milovanovic.
3. Somewhere deep down inside you're hoping Vicky Bullett will run out of the lockerroom at halftime dressed in uniform ready to play.
2. While Maryland red makes a powerful statement, Marissa Coleman looks better in Mystics Blue!
1. So you can say you're a part of the family...supporting an organization that is dedicated to providing affordable entertainment, serving as an impactful community partner and maintaining accessibility to positive female role models!

Friday, April 10th - Tim Gallant is excited to enjoy this weekend’s big event…THE MASTERS.

Hello Mystics Fans!

Today certainly is an exciting day to be a Mystics fan. With our #2 selection, we added Marissa Coleman to our roster which simply put, is genius. As many will agree, she is the most “WNBA ready” player and will be a great addition to our wing play. I honestly do not know how anyone could be upset with this pick, considering we drafted arguably the best player out of college.

With that being said, we need everyone who was waiting to see how the team will improve to come and renew your tickets, and we need all those who have been considering having a more active role with the team to sign up for Season Tickets. There will be no better value for such a great and exciting team in the DC area!

Finally, I wanted to wish everyone a great weekend. This Saturday and Sunday has such great meaning to so many people around the country and around the world and understandably…IT’S MASTERS WEEK!!! That’s right! For anyone who has watched Tiger’s chip on 16 go up the slope and come a millimeter short, only to drop in knows exactly what kind of theater this weekend brings and I count myself fortunate enough to say that I have been to Augusta and hold it close to my heart as every golf fan does. Is there any little kid who plays the game who doesn’t dream about driving up Magnolia Lane and playing on the hallowed grounds? Eloquently put, it’s a tradition unlike any other and I am excited to see what happens, because as they say, ‘the Masters doesn’t truly start until the back 9 on Sunday’.

Best,
Tim

Thursday, April 9th - Greg Bibb checks in.

Thursday Update Part II

In addition to Marissa, we have also selected Camille Lenoir, Jelena Milovanovic and Josephine Owino. Welcome ladies!

Thursday Update Part I

By now I’m sure you have heard the news…we selected Marissa Coleman from Maryland with the second pick in the draft. I think our basketball operations staff, led by GM Angela Taylor, did a great job during this process. I’m really excited about this addition and I can’t wait to start the season. Go Mystics!

******************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Welcome to Draft Day 2009. After what has seemed like months and months of anticipation, the wait is finally over. The Mystics select second today, so by about 3:15pm edt, we will know the newest member of our team.

Regardless of who we select, I can assure you that the preparation for making the pick has been second-to-none. Mystics General Manager Angela Taylor, Head Coach Julie Plank and the entire basketball operations staff have worked tirelessly to cover all of their bases. I’m completely confident we will make the right choice, not just for the 2009 season, but for years to come.

I’m also confident that no matter who we select, we will be adding a good basketball player and a quality individual. We have outlined our needs numerous times over the past six months, so there is no reason to delve into the details again, but it is safe to say we could use help just about everywhere and we will get it in the form of the number two overall pick.

We also have selections at #23, #24 and #28 so our draft day will only be getting started with pick #2. It’s an exciting day, and in my eyes, the unofficial start to the 2009 season. Today we turn the final page on 2008 and open the book on 2009. Training camp is just a few weeks away and the start of the season is less than two months from now. Buckle your seat belt, it is going to be a fun ride!

Single Tickets On Sale Now

Today also marks the on-sale date for 2009 Mystics single game tickets. Beginning at 10am, fans can purchase single game seats by contacting Ticketmaster, by visiting washingtonmystics.com, or by calling 1-877-DCHOOP1. Buy early, buy often!

Seat and Greet Thank You

On Saturday, April 4, we held our first annual Seat and Greet at Verizon Center. This two-hour event gave fans the opportunity to tour Verizon Center and select the seats they would like to purchase in a season ticket package. By the end of the day, the number of seats we sold far exceeded our expectation, so here’s a big thank you to everyone who took time out of a Saturday afternoon to join us. A special thank you to Chasity Melvin who stopped by to sign autographs during the event.

2nd Annual Mystics Sell-A-Thon

On Tuesday, the Mystics staff, along with our brothers and sisters within the Washington Capitals organization, participated in the second annual Mystics Sell-A-Thon. This one-day event focuses on selling Mystics season ticket packages where the majority of the tickets purchased are donated to our charitable partner, Most Valuable Kids. MVK is a great non-profit organization that provides tickets to professional sports events for underprivileged and underserved children. I’m pleased to announce through our collective efforts we sold nearly 250 season tickets that will be donated to area children!

Please note: even though the Sell-A-Thon is officially over for this year, you can still purchase a Mystics season ticket package and donate the tickets to MVK, for more information, contact me at gbibb@washmystics.com.

Congratulations UNC and UCONN

It was a long collegiate basketball season that began way back in November; however, when all of the games had finally been played, just two teams remained standing. Congratulations to the University of North Carolina men and the University of Connecticut women on winning NCAA basketball championships. On the men’s side, Tyler Hansbrough concluded one of the most prolific collegiate careers in history with a national championship. On the women’s side, the Huskies capped a perfect season with a dominating win and a trophy for their senior leader, Renee Montgomery. It was a great season with many memories. Now it’s time for Hansbrough, Montgomery and other standouts to transition to the pro game. For the men, the wait is a few months. For the women, their future arrives today. Good luck to all those looking to extend their playing careers by joining the professional ranks.

Quote of the Week

“Never settle for less when you deserve the best, never lower your standards just to please the rest.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• Congrats to the Washington Capitals…back-to-back Southeast Division Championships.
• The Boston Celtics will repeat as NBA Champions…I truly believe this.
• I watched the movie, “Righteous Kill” last weekend. Not the best movie of all time by any stretch, but anytime you get De Niro and Pacino together, it is worth your time.
• Tara, Adelyn and I enjoyed a great spring walk through the Cherry Blossoms last Sunday….we were joined by about 250,000 other people…the tourist season has begun in the nation’s capital.
• Have a great holiday weekend.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, April 8th - Connecticut native Chris Waldmann celebrates UCONN’s Championship!

Hello again Mystics Fans,

Well as you as know, things are really picking up around here. We are just ONE day away from the draft…one more day! I can’t wait to see who we select as the newest Mystic to join the 2009 team. I’ve got all the faith in the world in Angela, Coach Plank, and the rest of the basketball operations and coaching staff in making a great selection for the future of the Mystics.

So, I was a little off in my prediction that the UConn Huskies would repeat 2004’s amazing accomplishment of conquering the Men’s and Women’s Tourneys and taking home both championships. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to settle for one undefeated championship season from the women and a meager final four berth for the men. It was a good year to be a Husky! Congrats to Geno and the ladies for a third perfect season and a sixth National Championship. Interesting to note that Coach Auriemma has the highest winning percentage of any coach (men’s or women’s) with 600 or more victories. More than Bobby Knight, Coach K, Adolph Rupp, and Pat Summitt, that’s some pretty good company!

Spring is definitely in the air now as the cherry blossoms have bloomed (I guess I’m not as into blooming trees as the rest of DC, they’re nice, but I don’t see the big deal), baseball has started (Go Red Sox!), and the Mystics season is right around the corner. I’m as ready as ever for the season to get here, but first…one more day and we’ll know who’s making the team!

Well that’s about all from me for this time around. Everyone make sure and pick up your tickets now, because when we start this season right, the Verizon Center is going to be the place to be during the summer!

Go Mystics!

Chris

Tuesday, April 7th - Julie Plank gets excited for the upcoming draft.

Hello Mystics Fans!

Only 2 days left until Draft Day…This senior class has been impressive down the stretch. Congratulations to Renee Montgomery, Angel McCoughtry, and Courtney and Ashley Paris for leading their respective teams to the Final Four in St. Louis. It is always special to finish your senior year with a chance at a National Championship! Will Louisville pull yet another upset of a #1 seed? Or will Connecticut display their brilliance once again, and finish with that undefeated season?

The past week has been nice, as the staff has started to arrive! Luby and his wife Maryann, spent three long days driving from San Antonio, Texas. "The squad" (Natalia, Mikhail, & Sheila), as well as Angela and myself met them at the apartments for "move in time"! It was interesting to try to figure out how Luby was going to move in ALL his belongings from the U-haul, into a 2 bedroom already furnished apartment? :)

There was one laugh after another, as we began unloading. Mikhail was pushing a shopping cart, which he “borrowed” from the painters nearby! Sheila had a mini-dolly, which was overloaded on every trip back and forth. Natalia was “the trooper”, who volunteered to drag the heavy items practically an entire block to the apartment steps. Her first load she dropped off at the wrong apartment building…and was certainly disappointed to know that she was only half way there! After about two trips back and forth, the warm-up jackets came off and Angela walked out with shorts on and knee-high hose! I wish I took a picture of that, as it would have definitely been funny to see on this blog! :) In just a short hour and a half, the truck was empty. None of us have any idea what their place looks like now…but we DO KNOW we all were sore the next day!!! But, that is what teamwork is all about huh? :)

Well later that evening, Luby invited himself and Maryann over to MY APARTMENT for dinner. But, little did he know, I do not cook! :) So being the good sport that I am, I said “sure, come over and watch the semi-final games”. When I invited Angela to come as well, she could not imagine what was going to be on the menu. :) I did not know either, but knew it was going to come from Harris Teeter! Luby and Maryann was at the apartment when Angela arrived. Immediately her camera came out, as she witnessed me cutting up vegetables and tending to my chicken in the oven. While the three of them seemed impressed with the meal, I was just happy to know that I was done entertaining them for the summer, and was anxious to sit and watch the games! :)

Some of our players have arrived to DC as well! It is so great to have Chasity and Nikki Blue back in the gym this week. They are here working out with our staff, and doing some appearances. Chasity was here Day 1, and had a super workout! I was really impressed with her size and mobility, and her skills are going to help our inside game a great deal! Luby and Vicky had her doing all sorts of things, and she definitely was up for the challenge. She competed hard against one of our practice guys, Tyler, who just graduated from playing at Georgetown University. Nikki wasted no time getting on the court either, after flying in last night from Las Vegas. The workouts ended today with a 3-pt shooting contest between Chasity, Nikki, and Tyler. Each player takes 7 perimeter 3’s around the arc, trying to make as many as possible. Tyler went first and hit 3 of 7…Nikki went next and topped that, nailing 4 of 7…and now Chasity was up! After talking a little bit of trash…she was a PERFECT 7 for 7!!! What a great ending to the morning workout! :)

We look forward to Tasha Humphrey getting here tomorrow, and our other players getting back from overseas. I hope you all are as excited as we are for the draft on Thursday. There will be an extremely talented player coming to DC at #2. Stay tuned…..that is it for now!!!

Coach Plank

Monday, April 6th - Rebecca Hunt shares a weekend full of activities.

Hey Mystics Fans!

Happy Monday! There is so much to blog about, I am not sure where to start! Saturday was a blur. My mama actually came up for a quick visit. I should have known it was a bad sign when she said traffic on 95 North was terrible at 8:30am on Saturday morning. We attempted to run a few errands before I had to be at the Verizon Center for our Seat & Greet event. I think everyone in the entire DC metro area was participating in the Cherry Blossom festival. Luckily I was able to metro in. The metro can be aggravating at times, but overall it is so convenient. The Cherry Blossoms are gorgeous but all the festivities surrounding them really block up the whole city.

The Seat & Greet was a HUGE success! I think all of us were a little apprehensive about the event being on a gorgeous Saturday, in the middle of the afternoon, amidst all the activities in DC but our fans and season ticket holders did not let us down. Make sure to check out our Top Story on the website this Friday for a listing of all the "New Faces". Kudos to Crystal Hudson, our Game Operations & New Media Manager for selling 8 courtside season tickets!

Saturday night, UNC men won, I am still alive in a couple of my brackets, enough said!

Sunday was another gorgeous day and after a quick trip to the grocery store we were able to fire up the grill and spend some time hanging out on the deck. I will admit, I turned my back on my mama for two minutes to make up the hamburgers and next thing I know I hear the vacuum cleaner and washing machine going. Thanks mama!

Sunday night several of us headed to a nearby bar to watch the women’s games. Angel McCoughtry was great and I am excited for Louisville’s first trip to the Championship game. After watching them play in the regionals and defeating Maryland I was impressed! I thought Courtney Paris handled last night’s defeat with grace. She says she will make good on her promise to pay $64,000 back to the school. (If she is on the same student loan plan as me it will only take her 30 years!) I wish Stanford had given UConn a little bit more of a run for their money, but there is always next year. Renee Montgomery and Maya Moore are one game away from their perfect season! Do not forget the draft is on Thursday and the Mystics have the number two pick overall! Tune in to see who we draft!

My mama ended her weekend the same way she started it, in traffic on Interstate 95. It took her an hour to get 10 miles down the road which caused her to get home late and miss the first women’s game, trust me, I heard about that. She will most likely not visit again until our home opener, June 7th! We are two months away.

Take care and remember the Mystics are "As Real As It Gets".

Becca

Friday, April 3rd - Chasity Melvin talks about staying in the States and her dog Redd.

Hello Mystics Fan,

I thought I would check in with you and let you know what I've been up to since I got back from playing in China, became a free agent, signed back with the Mystics. Well, there it is. This is going to be a short blog. I'm just joking. Well, I decided to stay in the States and not play overseas after China. I enjoy playing overseas but you know what they say if you want something different you gotta do something different. So this year I'm trying a different approach. The season hasn’t started yet, but as far as mentally and physically that decision has been great for me. Physically I've been able to work on some strength issues and mentally I've just gotten a break from focusing on just basketball. I don't multitask very well, so when I'm playing, I'm playing. I mean I ain’t saying, I’m just saying, you know what I mean. So this time off has given me a chance to work on different things, spend time with my family and friends without worrying about staying up too late, getting enough rest for practice or games or travel.

I make my own workout schedule and everything just feels good. It's been a long time since I've been chilling in the States; I mean it's been so long I gave myself a new nationality "Blackopean"! I mean I ain’t saying, I'm just saying. I’ve been spending time with my dog Redd and I'm trying to help him get over his abandoment issues. I couldnt bring him to China with me so now he follows me around everywhere I go. He makes me feel so guilty when I leave. I hope he gets over these issues before my season starts, because he can't follow me on the road. Well, other than chilling with Redd and my niece Jasiah, I'm watching all the tournament games and following my man Lebron. I was able to see him in person against the Hawks so that has been the highlight of my off-season. He and his girlfriend were very nice and down to earth so that was refreshing. Yeah and Lebron is a beast and there is no question he is MVP this year.

Well I'm going to go its late and Redd is really tired and he refuses to go to bed until I go to sleep. Yeah, my dog has issues; it's hard raising a kid these days. Oh and for any fans out there who are requesting an add on my facebook page. I want you to know I have a fan page on Facebook and Myspace so if you would like to you can be added there. I really appreciate you guys but my personal facebook page is for family and friends. Oh and Coach Plank and company I'm heading that way next week I hope your ready for me…DC here I come I love being in NC and Atlanta but DC is as "Real as it Gets.

Chas

Thursday, April 2nd - Greg Bibb checks in.

So here we are, in April, ready to watch the men’s and women’s Final Four followed by the 2009 WNBA Draft. I know I say it all the time, but I can’t believe we are talking in terms of weeks instead of months when referencing the opening of training camp. The off-season is almost over. It’s time to get the season underway. This is a good time of year for so many reasons. Life is good. Here’s what’s on my mind this second day of April, 2009.

Single Tickets On-Sale Date

Mystics 2009 single game tickets go on sale one week from today, April 9, at 10am. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster, by visiting washingtonmystics.com, or by calling our office at 1-877-DCHOOP1. Be sure to get the seats you want, for the game you want, by calling and ordering early.

New Hires

I would like to officially welcome the two newest members of the Mystics staff. Cassaundra Lockett, who has been a long-time, part-time assistant in the basketball operations department, has been hired as the team’s lead equipment manager. In addition, Mystics GM Angela Taylor announced Joey Levin has been hired as the team’s new video coordinator. Welcome to both Cassaundra and Joey.

April Birthdays

April is a birthday trifecta month here in the Mystics front office. Crystal Hudson, our Game Ops and New Media Manager, has a birthday on April 14 while Senior Account Executive Maria Giovannetti celebrates one day later on April 15. Mystics Corporate Partnerships Coordinator Liz Sellers will enjoy her birthday on April 30. Happy birthday to Crystal, Maria and Liz!

Mystics Club Update

Last week I mentioned we will be launching a new all-inclusive club for the 2009 season. While most of the details will be rolled-out in the coming weeks, I will tell you that the ticket offer includes event-level seating for the game in an exclusive club. In addition, ticket holders will be able to enjoy all the food and drink (beer/wine/soda/water) they want from doors opening through halftime for $75. The club is limited to 58 people per game, so tickets will go fast. More info, including the food menu as well as artist renderings of the space will follow in the near future. Stay tuned.

The Final Four…the Men

Connecticut, North Carolina, Michigan State and Villanova remain standing…my bracket does not. I’m happy to see the “home team” Spartans heading to Detroit. Michigan State’s appearance on the big stage should give Michiganders an emotional lift during a touch stretch for a state so closely tied to the auto industry. Unfortunately, I don’t see the Spartans cutting down the nets come Monday night. I like North Carolina to win it all, capping the remarkable college career of Tyler Hansbrough.

The Final Four…the Women

Connecticut, Louisville, Stanford and Oklahoma head to St. Louis with their championship dreams still alive. I like a Connecticut-Oklahoma match-up in the big game on Tuesday night with the Huskies completing their perfect season in style. Of course Courtney Paris and her estimated $64,000 scholarship stand in UCONN’s way, which will provide a bit more drama for the title tilt. In the end, UCONN is just too talented to be stopped and 2009 will be remembered as the year of the Huskies.

Quote of the Week

“Every great achievement was once nothing more than a dream in the mind of a visionary.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• I would love to tell you who we are going to pick in next week’s draft, but Angela Taylor won’t tell me. If I find out, I’ll let you know.
• Congratulations to the Washington Capitals who surpassed the 100-point mark for the season with a win over the New York Islanders last night.
• I had a great time at the 2009 Sports, Events and Marketing Experience (SEME) conference last week. Congrats to Matt Winkler and the SEME staff on an outstanding event.
• Baseball season opens on Sunday. I’m picking the Yankees to beat the Dodgers in the World Series. I know, not too much imagination here, but hey the Yankees spend more than any other team (by a mile) and have thus amassed the most talent. The Dodgers are my favorite team and therefore the emotional pick. Enough said.
• Tip off to the 2009 WNBA season is 65 days from today!

Until next time,
Go Mystics!

Wednesday, April 1st - Mike Ragan talks women’s hoops and the joy of being a kid.

What an impressive weekend of women’s college basketball!!….I really enjoyed the Lousiville game and watching Angel McCoughtry, then got to see the Connecticut game which was close for a while there before they broke it open…but most impressive was the UMD comeback led mostly in part by Marissa Coleman, I’ve rarely seen a one person show like I saw in that game….one thing I learned from this weekend is that the Mystics are in great shape no matter what they do with the second pick.

As a nervous uncle I can tell you the weekend was filled with trepidation as my sister decided to fly my nephew Luke down to Florida to see the grandparents for the first time…It was his first plane trip and we were all nervous, however even with reports of a bad rainstorm that rerouted the plane I can happily say that he did fine and really enjoyed it. When I asked him what his favorite part was, he told me that the ladies served him orange juice! Oh to be a kid again…

Hope to see everyone at our select a seat event this Saturday and tune in next week for the WNBA draft…the league is very fortunate to be getting the likes of McCoughtry,Tolliver, Coleman, Montgomery etc…

Until next time…..
Mike