January 2009

Friday, January 30th - Nicole Jones recaps her great start to the new year.

Salutations and Happy Friday Mystics Fans!

Well, it’s just about the end of the first month of this wonderful year. What a beginning we’ve had. I can honestly say that this has been a month to remember and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.

“What was so memorable about this particular month and year?” you ask. Well, I’ll tell you. This was my birthday month (as well as MANY others - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Dr. J, just to name a few). I celebrated my 26th birthday in a rather untraditional fashion for me. Typically, I don’t make a big fuss about my birthday. I’ll usually just have dinner with the fam/friends, open some cards/gifts and call it a day. This year, I was fortunate enough to meet and befriend some wonderfully thoughtful ladies in the Mystics office. We celebrated all weekend and made it a time to remember – for everyone involved. THANKS LADIES!!!! Of course I still did the usual stuff, but our girls-only weekend certainly enhanced the event!

Even though you’ve probably heard about this a thousand times by now, once more won’t hurt and I’ll keep it brief. We made history by celebrating the inauguration of our nation’s first African-American President. What a sight to witness and feeling of pride to have as I watched history unfold before my eyes. As Beyoncé said after her performance at the Neighborhood Ball, “there are just certain people in the world who God touches and this man was born for this and he was born to lead us. I just feel so inspired”. While we still have quite a ways to go, we’ve certainly proven that the majority of the nation has matured. On top of that, when or where else have you seen “celebrities” stand/sit outside in the cold just to witness something first hand, like ordinary citizens?

I just know that this is going to be not just a good year, but a great year for me. I’m planning on making big moves with no regrets. This is my year and I’m already starting it 20 pounds lighter. My motto this year is: “If it’s not a necessity, it better be a benefit”. Feel free to use it if you’d like. I wish you much success with the remainder of your year.

Stay Blessed,

Nicole

Thursday, January 29th - Greg Bibb checks in.

Life has returned to normal here in Washington after an historical week highlighted by the Inauguration of our 44th President. Sunday we turn the calendar to February, watch the biggest sporting of event of the year and get ready for Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction regarding the next six weeks and the weather. Here’s what’s on my mind this 29th day of January, 2009.

The Loss of a Legend

Women’s basketball lost a pioneer and hero with Kay Yow’s passing on Saturday. Our condolences go out to the Yow family, her friends and the countless people she impacted, both directly and indirectly during her legendary coaching career. Her trailblazing advocacy for women’s sports and her relentless fight against cancer will ensure her legacy lives forever.

WNBA Board of Governors Meetings

The WNBA Board of Governors will meet next week in New York City. These meetings are always very productive and provide quite a bit of information regarding the League, our industry and how the Mystics are performing relative to the other WNBA member clubs. If there is any news to report, I’ll have it for you next time in this space.

Runaway Train Heading to the District

How good is the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team? On Monday they absolutely dominated #6 Louisville, 93-65. This follows an 88-58 dismantling of then #2 North Carolina, in Chapel Hill, on January 19. The Huskies hit town here for a game against Georgetown on Saturday with a perfect 20-0 record. By the way, UCONN has beaten every one of their opponents by double digits this season. The “closest” result came by way of an 82-71 victory over Georgia Tech on November 16…the first game of the regular season. Good luck to the Hoyas.

Cookie Monster

Earlier this week, my wife Tara decided she would take a shot at starting the mother-daughter tradition of baking cookies with our daughter, Adelyn. At the beginning, things were going well with Tara doing the work and Adelyn watching intently. The situation began to change, however, when the little one figured out that brown sugar is in fact sugar and thus tastes pretty good. At that point, Adelyn became much more interested in eating the sugar than observing the process. Likewise, Tara had quite a fight on her hands when she attempted to take the chocolate chips from her to add them to the cookie batter. The final straw for Adelyn came when Tara took the cookies off the counter and placed them in the oven to bake. I guess to a 17-month old, putting cookies in the oven to bake is just the same as throwing them away…she didn’t grasp the idea of them coming back out of the oven about 10 minutes later. In the end, however, all was good as Adelyn enjoyed “the fruits of her labor” by snacking on a freshly baked cookie with mama. I’m just sorry I missed this entertaining and surely memorable process.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Don’t forget, February 4 is National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) and the Mystics will be celebrating with our friends at the University of Maryland. On February 5, the Mystics will be hosting a special reception prior to the Maryland vs. NC State women’s game at Comcast Center. This mix-and-mingle will feature women who have made a significant contribution to sports. Honored guests include University of Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow, professional softball player Cat Whitehill, Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley and our very own Vicky Bullett and Angela Taylor. Tickets for the event cost $20 and provide admittance to the reception, a seat for the Maryland-NC State game and a voucher to a 2009 Mystics home game. For more information, give Megan Burda a call at 202-527-7511 or visit washingtonmystics.com.

Quote of the Week

“Manage by mind, lead by heart.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• I know, I have a problem when it comes to reality television, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I think this season’s “The Bachelor” is the best yet. Tune in on Monday at 8pm on ABC.

• I cannot believe, but I’m really excited…baseball’s spring training is just a few weeks away! Summer is coming!

• Any Pettitte turned down a $10 million, one-year offer from the Yankees in November and then signed a one-year, $5.5 million base deal with the Bronx Bombers earlier this week. Who said the Yankees aren’t thrifty with their money? Don’t feel bad for Pettitte, he can earn another $6.5 million in bonuses.

• I had the chance to see Shaq play against the Wizards at Verizon Center on Monday night. While the big fellow is getting older, he certainly can still play the game when his body is willing. He proved this by leading the Suns to victory with a 29-point, dominating effort.

• Super Bowl XLIII: Here we go Steelers, Here we go!!!

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Editors Note: Greg Bibb’s blog will not post next Thursday, February 5. Greg’s blog will return on Thursday, February 12.

Wednesday, January 28th - Sarah Novak celebrates her birthday.

Hello Mystics Fans,

Today is my Birthday!! As many of you know I am an only child; so my birthday celebrations have always been a week long event. From my mom always throwing me some sort of themed party with Clowns or a mascot of a stuffed Care Bear; but my best memory of a birthday party was a surprise party my mom had at my Montessori school. She brought in a wizard that turned a bushel of flowers into a birthday cake for me. It was great and it ended with a scavenger hunt in the playground that led me to a talking Teddy Rupskin. My mom and I would always go to dinner at one of my favorite places or to the Zoo just me and her. I have always been accustomed to different events celebrating my big day! This year will not be any different, there are events lasting all week ending with a Super Bowl party at the house to celebrate the STEELERS win! Tonight is a girls’ night out sushi dinner with all my BFFs in the office, my roommates and also some of my BFFs in life. Thursday my old roommate that owns and operates Red, White and Bleu (like the cheese) out of Falls Church has offered me two tickets for a fondue party that my roommate Cari will be attending with me. Three different yummy melted cheeses all paired with their very own wine. For the final night, it will be little black dress attire required for all of my girlfriends. We will be causing mischief in the Arlington area! All in all I am looking forward to the next five Birthday Celebrations!

I am also very excited about our very first Women 2 Women event this coming Friday. The Women 2 Women program has really gotten off to a fabulous start this year. I am very excited to have more events for our W2W this year with our Women’s Speaker Series and our specialized events like our Ladies Night (August 14) and our Wine and Cheese event (September 03). If you are interested in hearing more about this program feel free to contact your rep or give me a call.

Thanks

Sarah

Tuesday, January 27th - Julie Plank checks in.

Hello Mystics fans!

Recap

What a busy week, beginning with the spectacular inauguration event of our 44th President, Barack Obama. While I did not attend the festivities, I was certainly glued to my television throughout the day. It was amazing to see the unity in the air of not only the 2 million people that witnessed the event in person, but all those that watched from around the world. The coming together of so many people was awesome to see, and makes me very proud to be an American. While there are definitely challenges ahead, change will occur as we stay united and together.

Coach Yow

Our basketball world has lost a remarkable woman this past weekend, with the passing of Kay Yow. Kay was one of the most beloved coaches in women¡¦s basketball, as she touched so many lives. She was truly an inspiration to those around her, especially the players that she had the privilege to coach. Her lessons went way beyond basketball, as she prepared them to live their life to the fullest. Kay Yow certainly lived her life with grace and dignity. While she will be missed, her legacy will live on.

College Basketball

The college scouting has continued, as there have been some awesome games, and truly some outstanding individual performances in the last couple of weeks. It is a credit to all the college coaches that have developed the talent along the way. While Connecticut seems certainly in a ¡§class of their own¡¨, parity also seems to be in the air, as there are many teams on the rise. California beating Stanford in Berkeley was a great game, played in front of a sell-out crowd. How about Auburn beating Tennessee and staying undefeated? I think that Dewanna Bonner can play a little bit, don¡¦t you?

Most of our staff (Vanessa Nygaard, Vicky Bullett, Angela Taylor, & I) was able to catch the Maryland Terps in action on Monday, vs. the UNC Tarheels. With all the WNBA scouts in the arena, you know there are some high draft picks on the playing floor! Maryland continued their dominance at home, in the Comcast Center. It was great to see so many Mystic supporters in the crowd! ƒº It was also fun for me to spend some time with Chris Weller (Former Maryland Coach) as she spent the majority of the game reminiscing with Vicky Bullett about ¡§old times¡¨. We missed you Luby! ƒº

Mystics

Only four months away till the beginning of training camp! Most of our players are beginning their European Championships today. We have been in touch with them frequently, as I must admit, I am getting pretty good at AIM Express and Skype!!! I am sure they could NOT live without it! The free agency period continues and we are working hard to better our team for the ¡¦09 season. The waiting is the hardest part, I know!

Hope to have some good news on the next blog.

Stay tuned...

Coach Plank

Monday, January 26th - Liz Sellers talks about her newest discovery: IKEA.

Hey Mystics Fans,

I hope you all had a safe and exciting Inauguration holiday. I must give credit to those who braved the cold and traveled to the Mall on Tuesday. Although I live in the area, I decided to stay in and watch the event on TV however it was still great to see.

A few weeks ago, I made my first trip to IKEA in search of a dresser. After living in furnished apartments on campus for the past four years, I haven¡¦t collected much furniture and it¡¦s hard to find something to wear when it¡¦s buried at the bottom of a box ¡V so I thought IKEA was a good place to start. What a place! If you haven¡¦t ever experienced it, please take an afternoon and visit. They have it all mapped out for you with arrows on the floor to keep you on track. From displays of living rooms to kitchens to bedrooms, I got all the ideas I needed in one Saturday to plan the interior of my first home. But after roaming around the store for a good hour, I did come upon a dresser that was just what I was looking for and fits perfectly in my room. So mission accomplished.

2009 has begun and that means Opening Night is just around the corner ¡V I hope to see you this season!

I look forward to next time!

Liz

Friday, January 23rd - Michael Ragan shares his fun-filled weekend in New York City.

Hey Mystics fans,

Hope everyone is doing well…

What an amazing weekend in DC, hopefully you got to take part in some of the Inauguration festivities. My wife and I decided to get outta dodge and head up to NYC. We had a fantastic weekend. Right as we got there we went to a matinee broadway show featuring Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe. It was called Equus and was a deep, dark introspective look at what made a young boy go crazy and commit murder, absolutely amazing acting. Then got to have dinner at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill which I absolutely recommend to anyone in NY. Saturday night, I was lucky enough to meet up with our league rep Lindsay at a place called Park Bar, good times, thanks for meeting us out Lindsay!! Sunday since I knew my wife had six hours of football watching later, I decided to do the good husband thing and take her on the Sex and the City tour, apparently it was good, I have no idea, never watched the show, got a drink and a cupcake out of it though and got to see all of NY so all in all, not bad. Monday thanks to Sarah Novak, we got second row seats ( better seats than Mary Kate and Ashley!) for the Caps- Islanders game in Long Island which the Caps won in overtime…Keep your eyes on the Caps!!

Don’t know if I could live there, but definitely enjoyed my time and then got to enjoy history being made yesterday. I truly think our country is headed in the right direction.

Look forward to seeing all of you soon.

Go Mystics!

Thursday, January 22nd - Greg Bibb checks in.

It is a short week here at the Mystics offices as we are all just back from a four-day weekend highlighted by the inauguration of our 44th President. Here are my reflections on that remarkable event, as well as a few other thoughts on my mind this 22nd day of January, 2009.

Inauguration Rewind

Regardless of your political viewpoint, you had to be impressed and touched by the events of the past week. To see almost two million Americans come together for an historic event is something utterly unique and most certainly memorable. While I know there were problems for some people with tickets not making it to their designated viewing area, I must say I was thoroughly impressed by how smoothly all of the events transpired.

I will not soon forget the pictures from the National Mall where a sea of humanity gathered to be a part of history. I will also remember for quite some time the picture of then President Bush telling someone on the podium immediately prior to the inauguration ceremony that it was a great day for the country. In fact, to me, the way the transition of power happens so seamlessly is probably the most remarkable aspect of the entire process. Just think about your work environment and how there is general upheaval when someone leaves a job and a new person begins. Can you image what this must be like at the presidential level? All of the agencies, departments and personnel who are directly effected, not to mention the relationship with foreign countries and the little things like computer codes, access and the like. Just amazing.

I hope you had a chance to witness at least part of the inaugural festivities. It really was spectacular. To see so many people deeply impacted and moved was touching. There was a unity in the air that we as a country have generally lacked in recent times. Whether you agree or disagree with why people came together, they did so just the same and it makes me proud to be an American.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day

February 4 is National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) and the Mystics will be celebrating with our friends at the University of Maryland. On February 5, the Mystics will be hosting a special reception prior to the Maryland vs. NC State women’s game at Comcast Center. This mix-and-mingle will feature women who have made a significant contribution to sports. Honored guests include University of Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow, professional softball player Cat Whitehill, Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley and our very own Vicky Bullett and Angela Taylor. Tickets for the event cost $20 and provide admittance to the reception, a seat for the Maryland-NC State game and a voucher to a 2009 Mystics home game. For more information, give Megan Burda a call at 202-527-7511 or visit washingtonmystics.com.

Growing Up Way Too Fast

On Monday night, my wife and I had the opportunity to attend the Youth Concert at Verizon Center. I must admit, I was a little hesitant to bring Adelyn as I was worried how the crowds, heavy security, hassles and noise level would affect a 17-month old. Little did I know, Adelyn was more than up for the event. In fact, I was quite surprised, and perhaps a bit overwhelmed, by how well she did. Adelyn danced, she clapped, and she attempted to “hang out” with girls who were five to 10 years older than herself. Miley Cyrus seemed to be a particular favorite. Candidly, there were moments on Monday night when my daughter seemed much more like a little girl than a toddler. This was exciting, sad and scary to me all at the same time. Then, when she was ready to go home, she grabbed me by the hand and led me to the door.

While I’m proud of how my little girl adapts to her surroundings, I’m also a bit shocked at how quickly she is growing up. I have always been resigned to the fact that I would eventually lose control; however, I did not expect this to happen prior to her second birthday. Parenting truly is about long days and short years.

Happy Birthday Wishes

A bunch of January birthday wishes to pass along to Mystics Account Executives…

Erin Mitchell celebrated her birthday on January 17 while Nicole Jones enjoyed a birthday on January 18. Sarah Novak will celebrate her special day on January 28 while Chris Waldmann will enjoy his birth anniversary on January 29. Happy birthday to all!

Quote of the Week

“A dead end is an opportunity to take another direction”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• Steelers and Cardinals in the Super Bowl…I’m seeing championship #6 for the Black and Gold!

• Speaking of the Steelers, last Sunday’s Pittsburgh-Baltimore AFC Championship Game was one of the most physical match-ups I have seen contested on the gridiron. It was cold, it was the playoffs and it was all left on the field. A great effort by both teams.

• UCONN’s dismantling of UNC on Monday night affirmed what I thought…the Huskies are the best team in women’s NCAA hoops…by a mile.

• Lance Armstrong is officially back on the bike and competing. He’ll be an interesting story to follow through this year’s Tour De France.

• One more question from the Youth Concert…when did Lil’ Bow Wow grow up and become just Bow Wow?

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, January 21st - Steven Lawhorn introduces himself.

Hey Mystics Fans,

My name is Steven Lawhorn and I recently joined the Mystics front office around the end of October as Corporate Partnerships Manager, after spending six years in Minor League Baseball. My first couple of months as part of the Mystics family has been extremely rewarding as I’ve learned more about the Mystics, the WNBA, and the tremendous value that they both offer as potential partners to area businesses. I’m still getting used to the Washington D.C. area and it’s definitely a daily struggle to try to comprehend the stand-still traffic!

I just enjoyed a nice four day weekend back home in West Virginia with my family. I know that this was a special time to be in D.C. but I was perfectly comfortable watching history on TV away from the cold and the crowd. My seven year old son, Stevie, attempted to teach me how to snowboard while I was home. It didn’t go well for me. I eventually got the hang of it but I took a beating first.

I look forward to next time as we get closer to the season.

Go Mystics!

Steven

Friday, January 16th - Whitney Palmer ponders the upcoming hectic weekend.

Hey Mystics fans,

Thank you for tuning in. Before I sat down to write my blog this afternoon I was trying to think about what I am going to do for MLK Day and Inauguration Day next Monday and Tuesday. Some have offered that having an apartment out in Alexandria may pose some problems when trying to drive in the city next week. How am I supposed to use the metro when 4 million other people are trying to ride it too? I get uncomfortable during rush hour when I have to share a seat!

What an amazing time to be in Washington, DC. I could never have predicted that I would be here for such a historic moment when I chose to move out here nine months ago. It sounds corny, but I will definitely tell my kids this story! I am not typically the nostalgic type although you can bet I will at least save the newspaper that day.

Back to the Mystics. A wonderful gentleman just called our office and booked two season passes for him and his daughter to attend this year. His daughter just started playing basketball and he thought that coming out to live Mystics games would be a great way to get her really excited about her new found hobby. He was right too! His daughter called back two minutes later and thanked us for getting her and her dad great seats behind the Mystics bench! That was a great feeling for all of us in the office and in turn, got us really excited about upcoming events, signings, and promotions surrounding the team. Stay tuned…..

Thank you for continuing to follow our team and reading our blog. Go Mystics!

Whitney Palmer

Thursday, January 15th - Greg Bibb checks in.

It’s the middle of January, free agency is in full swing, the schedule has been released, our coaching staff is complete and ticket sales are moving along. There is also plenty of news from around the WNBA. Here’s what’s on my mind this 15th day of January, 2009

Let us start with the big story out of LA where Candace Parker announced she is going to be a mommy. First, a big congrats to Candace and her husband, Shelden Williams. Second, how cool is it that one of the world’s greatest female basketball players is now also going to be a mom. Can you say role model? Only in the WNBA do we encounter this unique intersection of athletics and maternity. See Lisa Leslie. This is what makes our game, our league, and our players so special. In fact, the WNBA has started a special series on WNBA.com highlighting players from around the League who are moms. Check it out.

There’s still no word on when Candace will be returning to action, but I sure hope she is back in time to visit Washington on July 11. We are excited to host the new mom and her teammates on that Saturday evening.

Speaking of extending welcomes to Verizon Center, I’m hopeful that the new First Family finds their way to a Mystics game this season. President Obama’s love of basketball has been well documented and we would be honored to host the President, the First Lady and the Obama girls for a little WNBA action.

While we don’t know if they will make an appearance at a Mystics game in 2009, what we do know is the next five days will be historic ones here in the nation’s capital. The inauguration of our 44th President has the potential to be the largest single gathering of people in the history of our country. This, along with the historical significance of our first African American President, makes a very special event something utterly bigger than historic, unique or any other adjective available. Regardless of your political affiliation or opinions, Tuesday will be memorable.

There are scores of events, concerts, galas, seminars and good times scheduled during the inauguration weekend. To say this is the “must see” event of the year, decade, whatever is a huge understatement. Security will match the size of the crowds in its unprecedented nature. Screening stations, foot patrols, closed roads and bridges as well as air surveillance will add to the surreal scene in downtown DC.

History will be written over the next few days. It will be fun to watch as it happens. Despite the record crowds, it is safe to say that in 25 years, the group of those who will claim to have been here will be much larger than the actual crowd in attendance.

Quote of the Week

“To get to where you have never been before, you must do what you have never done before.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• Let’s Go Steelers! The Black & Gold will beat Baltimore for the third time this season and advance to the Super Bowl.

• Anyone else surprised that UNC started 0-2 in ACC men’s basketball action?

• I don’t know why but the dinner table set-up at the Golden Globes bothers me…award shows are to be held in theaters with theater seating!

• Friday’s forecast is for a high of 25 degrees…Spring anyone?

• I can’t get enough of ABC’s new show, “Inner Beauty.” It’s predictable, mindless and thoroughly entertaining. Reality television’s new low is on

Monday nights at 10pm. Check it out for a good chuckle.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, January 14th - Check out Maria Giovannetti's full proof plan on how to handle inauguration weekend.

Hello Mystics Fans,

There is no need to panic this weekend when millions of people invade your every space and streets. Why, you may ask? Well, I have devised a fool proof plan to avoid traffic, congestion, and sheer mayhem for the four days that will follow Friday.

1. Under no circumstances should you head anywhere near the mall. While it may be tempting to try and catch a glimpse of the new President, I guarantee you will have a better chance of running into Pokie Chapman.

2. Do not go out to eat anywhere in the city, as your service will be about as slow as the commute into the city Monday morning, which is to say you may never even get your food.

3. Turn your phone off…you probably won’t have service anyway. I’m not sure about you, but I have friends I haven’t talked to in 18 years calling me up for a place to lay their heads over the long weekend.

4. If you’re one of the five republicans in the city I’m sorry this isn’t your weekend, but on the bright side Sarah Palin is now a grandmother.

Follow these and you should navigate the weekend with relative ease. My advice: stay at home, with plenty of food and drink, and get caught up on all the happenings with the Mystics. Explore the website, read up on our new coaches, and see how our players are doing overseas!

Enjoy the long weekend!

Maria

Tuesday, January 13th - Angela Taylor checks in.

Hello and a Belated Happy New Year Mystics Fans,

As I write this blog, we are around 170 hours away from one of the most historic moments in my lifetime. Tuesday, January 20, 2009 will definitely be a day for all of us to remember. I haven’t quite slowed down long enough to reflect on the enormous impact that Barack being elected has had on individuals around the world, but I certainly intend to soak up all of the energy and excitement that’s being generated.

I guess my thoughts can be summed up by a quote from one of the students from the Ron Clark Academy after the election results were in…the young boy (nearly in tears) said that as a result of Barack’s election he now realizes that he can be anything he wants to be too! Powerful.

With the upcoming historic event days away, I also hope to find an alternate route to/from the Verizon Center since I seem to constantly be stuck in traffic and running into motorcades left and right these days. Although these delays have been a minor inconvenience, I will be the first to admit that I find myself peering out the windows hoping that I will spot Michelle or Barack cruising by with their secret service escorts. I also may have to check out that chili place that is receiving all of this attention due to the 44th President’s recent visit!

Well a lot has happened since I submitted my last blog, so I will do my best to catch you all up on the exciting things happening in the Mystics world. First and foremost, I am extremely excited about the staff that Coach Plank has put together. Individually, they all have accomplished some remarkable things and bring so much to the table. Collectively, they will have a dynamic impact on our players (on and off the court) as well as the future of this organization. I am looking forward to watching this group teach our players and mold them into the champions that we all believe they can be.

I had the opportunity to coach Vanessa for a couple of years. You will all love the intensity, passion and energy that she has for this game. She is also a comedienne, so make sure you tune in when she blogs on washingtonmystics.com! I have heard about Luby for years and have enjoyed getting to know him over the last couple of months. He is a student of the game and will bring a wealth of knowledge to the staff. Finally, Vicky not only is one of the legends of the game, but she is someone who played the game the right way and is passionate about teaching our youth (special education teacher in West Virginia) and teaching the fundamentals of the game. As you can tell, I could go on and on about each of them, but I look forward to you having an opportunity to get to know them yourselves.

2009 is off to a great start as Coach Plank and I were able to visit with quite a few of our players (Lang, AB, Mo, Krystal, Nakia, and Andrea) as they returned to the states for a quick break during the holidays. We both were really excited to spend time in person with them. Our firm belief in what we will be able to accomplish on the court was reinforced as we shared our vision with them. You will all be happy to know that they are all working extremely hard overseas and looking forward to getting back to training camp in May.

The free agency signing period started a week ago and while there hasn’t been a rash of activity, we anticipate that we’ll see some movement in the next couple of weeks around the league. Many of the top free agents seem to be taking their time to make a decision as to where they will lace up their sneakers for the ’09 season, but I think that once one or two players make a move the snowball effect will come into play. As we have mentioned, we are being very active in free agency hoping to sign some players who fit into our system and complement our core. This market and the leadership we have in place (led by Ted & Sheila) is second to none, so there is great interest in coming to DC to be part of something special. We hope to have some exciting news soon.

Quick Hitters

• Congrats to Candace Parker & Sheldon Williams on starting a new family (can’t wait to see what college the little boy or girl signs with 18 years from now)

• Congrats to Sylvia Hatchell on joining the elite 800 club (Wow, 800 victories!!!)

• Join me in sending a shout out to Coach Yow…”You’re in our thoughts.”

• Georgia Brown’s Brunch is the real deal!

• Is anybody else able to go to a Target and only buy what is on your list? I can’t seem to be able to stick to the 1-2 items I “need”.

In honor of the upcoming holiday, I will leave you with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”

Take care,

Angela

Monday, January 12th - Rebecca Hunt tells us about her big move.

Hey Mystics Fans!

Happy Monday! Hard to believe that the holidays are behind us. Last week, my first week back from vacation, was a blur! With our schedule being released right before Christmas, we have been working hard to get our 2009 collateral designed (kudos to HZDG!!) and printed. Speaking of the 2009 season, close your eyes and have the person sitting next you (friend, family member, co-worker) read this…

“Challenging assumptions. Not taking a backseat to anyone. And delivering nonstop entertainment. That’s Washington Mystics basketball. It’s fun. It’s physical. And yes, “it’s fantastic” to borrow a phrase from the big boys. But the Mystics don’t want to play like the big boys. They want to do it their own way. And they are. Night in and night out. You want fast breaks and players knifing to the hoop? You got it. You want physical action in the paint? They deliver it. You want high-scoring, end-to-end action? Take a seat. It’s their special brand of basketball. One that you’ll miss if you buy in to the accepted stereotypes of women athletes. The Mystics are “keeping it real” every night. Overcoming not only their opponents, but the traditional roles of women as well. Theirs is a game for everyone, from hardcore fans, to families. It’s a brand of basketball that won’t be ignored. Why? Because it’s “as real as it gets.”

This year the Mystics tag line will be “As Real As It Gets”. Now turn to your friend, family member, co-worker and the two of you call us for tickets today! 1-877-DCHOOP1.

On a more personal note, I moved this weekend and was a little bit nervous about the whole thing but everything worked out and I am almost all settled. The good news is that I did not have to rent a u-haul, just among my immediate family I was able to come up with four pick-up trucks. I bit the bullet and bought some real furniture when I was home for the holidays. Can you believe it was cheaper to buy furniture in my hometown and have it delivered to Arlington (3.5 hours away) then to buy it up here and have it delivered, for the same stuff??!! I was at the mercy of Comcast technicians for getting my TV, internet, etc. up and running. Luckily they showed up between the promised hours of 6am-12pm on Saturday. It was also crucial that we get our Wii set-up. Like Greg, roommates and I also participate in Wii tournaments, but they are Rock Band tournaments. Dana Simonelli does a mean version of “Roxanne” when she visits. I am glad the move went smoothly and I am very excited about the new place.

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

Becca

Friday, January 9th - Coach Julie Plank talks about her new coaching staff.

Hey all you Mystics fans,

First of all, I hope each and every one of you had an awesome holiday. For me, there is never enough time to spend with my family! This first week of 2009 I spent in DC, meeting and spending time with many of our Mystic players who were home for the holidays. It has been great getting to know them! We took advantage of a night in Georgetown, enjoying a great dinner at Sequoia’s…and yes, the sea bass was awesome! Alana picked the place, and after being there I can see why. Angela and I, Navin, Ketsia, Alana, Monique and a few other guests shared many laughs. I am really looking forward to being on the floor with them this summer!

Wednesday was an exciting day for me, as I officially moved into my new place! That means I am in DC for good, preparing for the 2009 season…YEAH! The other big news is that I am thrilled to announce the following people to my coaching staff, and know they will be GREAT!

Luby Lichonczak: I have known Luby for a very long time, as he was one of my coaches at Ohio State, during my playing days. He has many years of coaching experience, both as an assistant coach, and as a head coach in the collegiate game. Luby has worked alongside many great coaches during his career, and is extremely passionate about the game of basketball. He has been an advanced scout for several WNBA teams over the past few years, and has spent time studying the WNBA game and the players. A tireless worker, Luby is very knowledgeable and has a passion for developing players, in particular post players. I know that I am fortunate to have someone with his experience and success on my bench, as he is someone I have always respected and trusted. Luby is constantly learning and studying the game, and will be a huge resource for me, both on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. I look forward to having him on our staff, as he is a total team player. I am confident that Luby will do whatever it takes to help the Mystics win a championship.

Vanessa Nygaard: Vanessa will bring so much to the table, as part of the Mystics staff. She has been at the very top, and has success both as a player and a coach, in both the collegiate ranks as well as in the WNBA. Vanessa has an extremely high basketball IQ, as she has learned from many talented coaches and organizations, most recently with the San Antonio Silver Stars who were in the WNBA Finals. Having the opportunity to coach Vanessa at Stanford, I can attest to her work ethic, her knowledge, and the incredible passion/energy which she will bring to this Mystic organization. Vanessa is an excellent teacher, a great communicator, and will be an awesome resource for all of our players. An exceptional shooter in her day, Vanessa will focus on the offensive end of the floor, and work to develop our perimeter players. I am grateful that Vanessa has decided to join our Mystics’ franchise, as she is a “winner”!

Vicky Bullett: I am truly ecstatic to have Vicky join our staff, as she has so much to offer. Vicky has played at every level possible and has had success every step of the way! After becoming one of the University of Maryland’s most prolific basketball players, she played for USA basketball as a member of both the 1988 and 1992 Olympic teams. Vicky played professionally overseas for over 10 years, and was truly one of the best during her six-year WNBA career, having finished her career as a Washington Mystic. Vicky is currently teaching, and her ability to teach our post players on the floor will be a huge asset to our organization. Vicky will focus on the defensive end of the floor, specifically with our post defense. She is all about the fundamentals, doing things the right way, bringing energy and passion every day, and playing together as a team. I am looking forward to all the great things she will bring to our players, as well as our staff.

The next few weeks we will be busy, spending time in college gyms, watching the top draft picks in action. I love evaluating these players, and seeing what they bring to the table. My favorite part is watching the practices, as you see their interaction with teammates, their willingness to listen to advice from coaches, their work ethic, and the many intangibles they bring to the table. Tuesday, Angela and I got to watch the Maryland Terrapins practice, as they prepare for the upcoming ACC season. Oh yes, they have a couple of talented seniors as well!!!  Brenda Freese was very accommodating, and I look forward to that special relationship with their program and staff.

And finally…we are spending a lot of time trying to improve our team for the 2009 season. As you know, free agency is a big part of that equation. We hope some great news will be coming our way, as players begin to sign this week. Stay tuned…..

Until next time,

Coach Plank

Thursday, January 8th - Greg Bibb checks in.

Welcome back! It seems as if it has been forever and a day since I last checked in. I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful holiday and a fantastic start to 2009. I know we here at the Mystics are excited about 2009 and all that it will bring. On a personal note, my holidays were filled with great moments and memories spent with my family back in Pennsylvania. Here are a few of the highlights, as well as a couple of other items on my mind, this 8th day of January, 2009.

Completing the Coaching Staff

I’m quite pleased with the coaching staff Mystics GM Angela Taylor and head coach Julie Plank have assembled. Earlier this week, we officially welcomed Lubomyr “Luby” Lichonczak as our lead assistant as well as second assistant Vanessa Nygaard and assistant coach/director of player development Vicky Bullet. This group gives us decades of coaching experience while providing a great mix of knowledge and perspective.

Luby comes to us from the University of Texas-San Antonio and will arrive in Washington with over 30 years of coaching experience. Vanessa followed-up a stellar collegiate career at Stanford with a six-year stint in the WNBA and most recently served as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Silver Stars. Vicky has spent the past few years coaching in her home state of West Virginia after an outstanding WNBA career that included time as a Mystic. She is also a two-time Olympian.

To learn more about each of the Mystics new coaches, visit our website at WashingtonMystics.com.

Addy’s Christmas Tour

We had a great time visiting all of our family during the Christmas holiday. We made stops at three different homes so Adelyn could spend time with all of her great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It was really nice seeing her interact with family that she does not get to see on a regular basis. Hopefully we’ll be back soon. I hope everyone had the chance to spend the holiday season with family and friends and to enjoy that time of year with those people that matter the most.

Needa No Pins (aka Grandma Strike) Does It Again

Those of you who are crazy enough to be regular readers of this space may recall my holiday story of a year ago involving my grandmother-in-law. Her name is Needa Rumberger and she is 86 years-old. Last Christmas she shocked me and all those witnessing the event, by beating me, handily, in a game of Wii Bowling. Of course, being a somewhat competitive chap, I eagerly awaited this Christmas holiday for my opportunity for revenge. Christmas came as scheduled. My revenge, well, that’s another story.

My confidence came from the opportunities I have had to play Wii Bowling several times since last year, the comfort in know I would not be underestimating Needa this year, and candidly, the fact Needa was another year older (can she really continue to perform at such a remarkable level at such an advanced age?). Unfortunately, I forgot that 80 is the new 50. I also forgot that Needa’s retirement community hosts regular Wii tournaments. Finally, I underestimated the pressure one feels when trailing an 86 year-old by fifteen pins with two frames to go. I should have known it was going to be a tough outing when “Needa No Pins” opened with a strike, turned to me, looked me in the eye and chuckled.

Thus, another holiday, another beat down at the virtual bowling alley from “Grandma Strike.” While I would be lying if I said I wasn’t already counting down the days to Christmas 2009, I must admit it is pretty cool to see someone who was born before the last time our economy was this screwed up being so active and involved. She is a great example for living your life to its fullest. Enjoy your victory Needa. I’ll see you in the living room on December 25.

Free Agent Update

We continue to work hard on this front. We have been courting one player specifically over the past few weeks. This included a visit to Europe and a three-day stay for the player here in the nation’s capital. There is work to be done, but I’m hopeful we’ll have positive news on this front within the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Hoya Saxa

I’m excited to start a new endeavor tonight as I will be teaching a graduate course at Georgetown University. My class is called “Sports Sales, Licensing and Sponsorship Development.” We will be focusing on revenue generation through ticket sales, service and retention as well as corporate sponsorship development and the business of licensing. I’m really looking forward to interacting with this group of 31 bright and talented graduate students. I’ll keep you posted on how our semester is progressing.

Quote of the Week

“Think not of lost opportunities…but future possibilities.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• Love the Oklahoma Sooners to take the trophy in tonight’s BCS Championship Game.

• I hope it is really cold and snowing hard when the Steelers host the Chargers on Sunday.

• How good is Big East basketball this year? The nation’s new #1 team, Pitt, headlines a group of top-10 caliber teams in UCONN, Notre Dame, Syracuse and our hometown Georgetown Hoyas.

• I gave up soda as one of my New Year’s resolutions…eight days in and so far, so good.

• Just 12 days until the Inauguration. DC is bracing for an unprecedented mass of people. This will be an historic day on a number of fronts.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, January 7th – Ketsia Colimon shares her New Year’s resolution.

Hey Mystics fans,

Happy New Year! This is the time of year for resolutions but this time around I have decided to only have one. I won’t try to exercise more (I should) or eat better (I am). My one and only resolution for 2009 is NO VEHICULAR INFRATIONS! That means no parking, speeding or any other types of tickets. Believe me if you will, I have been ticketed every single month of 2008. My November ticket came on election night. That is mind-boggling! Who does that?? Thus, this year, my one and only goal is to keep my money and not give it to the DMV.

As the resident, Florida girl, I went home to Miami for the holidays. Some of my coworkers gave me funny looks when I explained to them that Christmas in Florida is just not right. When the holidays come around, it needs to be cold and snowy…at least that is how I see it, 74 degree Christmas days are just not normal.

Mystics

It is a pretty exciting time in Mystics land with the addition of our three new assistant coaches. I know all of the Mystics fans are very excited to see Vicky Bullett back with our franchise and I am sure that they will love Luby and Vanessa as they get to know them.

Sam Update

I mean really-how cute is this kid? Sam is nine months old today and continues to be the pride of the Colimon family. I wish I could show you all video of him crawling but I doubt you would enjoy it as much as I do :)

Take care
Ketsia

Monday, January 5th – Megan Burda shares how she spent her holidays and the fear of turning old.

Happy New Year Mystics Fans!

Since my last day before going on vacation for the holidays on December 22nd here in the Mystics office, a lot has happened between Christmas, the New Year and the day when I officially became old….the big 24.

The holidays came and went faster than I had imagined and as I try to recap everyday of my vacation, it becomes very hard to tell all that went on. Christmas was a day of relaxation and chaos with our house hosting the infamous holiday. With 20 cousins and four aunts and uncles, our house was packed with presents, laughter and good times. As I get older, the excitement of Christmas day dwindles and I wish I could have the giddiness my little brother still has three days before Santa comes.

The New Year was different than any other since I had to work but my friends all came to see me and it turned out to be a great 2009. Even though my New Year was low key, my birthday was on January 2nd so I had my time to celebrate a few days later. My sisters and cousin came from Baltimore, and all my friends local and far came to help me celebrate the last year before I become a quarter of a century old.

The days that fell between these three major events were very relaxing and I finally had time to catch up with friends and enjoy doing the day to day things I usually do not get to do.

Even though it’s back to the daily grind, there is much excitement to happen as the New Year opens. Don’t forget to sign up for the second Jr. Mystics Dance Clinic which is coming up at the end of this month! If you have a son or daughter who likes to cheer/dance, please give me a call at 202-527-7511 for all the details. They will have the opportunity to perform an exhibition routine in front of hundreds at the University of Maryland Cheer Competition on February 7th.

Until next time,

GO MYSTICS.
Megan