July 2009

Friday, July 31st - Rebecca Hunt talks about frienship.

Hi Mystics fans!

I will preface this blog by saying it will be mushy. I have decided to write about friendship. I have been really lucky to have some great friends. This past weekend I was able to celebrate a huge event with two of my best friends.

There are three of us that are best friends from college, and we all met freshmen year. There is me- Beccawray, my college roommate- Cox (Rebekah) and Sarah. Cox and I first bonded over the CMA country music awards and consider these annual awards our anniversary. Cox is a high school science teacher and lives near Lynchburg, Va. Sarah is in her first year of residency and just moved to Boston. We actually did not know each other before college but grew up within an hour or two of each other and it turns out know some of the same people; which is just part of growing up in a small town. During college we did everything together: attended our first frat parties, watched football games, played intramural sports and just grew up together.


After college, we have continued to stay close, taking turns visiting each other, talking on the phone, going to concerts, attending sporting events and meeting up during the holidays. One of the craziest things is that we have all gotten engaged and our weddings are within four months of each other. Cox’s wedding is the first wedding. She got married last weekend in Lynchburg, Va. Sarah and I were in the wedding and so excited to be a part of her big day. Check out some of the pictures above of Cox and her dad, Sarah and I in hot pink bridesmaids dresses (yikes!), and the classic picture of Cox doing a keg stand in her wedding dress. My wedding is up next, I will let you know how that goes; I can tell you there will be no keg stands at the reception, my mama would kill me! I will close by saying that friends are important and life’s big events would be no fun without them. Make sure you take time for your friends and thank them for being there.

On a basketball note, the team continues to play well, what a great win last night! I hope everyone is getting excited for Kids Day on Sunday, August 2nd at 4pm vs. the Indiana Fever.

Mystics basketball, as real as it gets.
Becca

Thursday, July 30th - Trudi Lacey recaps her thoughts of the Mystics zoo event. Greg Bibb will return next week.

A day at the zoo

As you all know our team loves dogs! I am amazed at the number of people on our who have dogs . ( I have recently fallen in love with the labradoodle and I am thinking of getting one when I return home, so any name suggestion are welcome, though it has to be basketball related name! I wonder why?)

So it is fitting that we would spend a day at the zoo with our fans. We have the best fans in the WNBA, they love our players.

A couple of weeks ago we had a challenge at the zoo and Ms. Harding’s team set a record for the zoo challenge of 12 minutes. The only thing I wanted to see at the zoo was the monkeys. They crack me up… I love to watch their interaction with each other. I am a people watcher; I love watching people and observe their interactions. So I watched people at the zoo and I watched the monkeys.

As I watched our team and fans interact, I am reminded how much we all have in common and how if we look for what we have in common our differences show up less and less. Basically people just want to be appreciated. And that’s what our fans do for us. They let us know that they appreciate what we do.

It is a wonderful reminder of one of life’s basic but most profound lessons… show appreciation to those we care about!

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, July 29th - Marty Lerner shares the great things happening in Mystics land.

Hi Mystics Fans! Hope you are enjoying our FANtastic season so far!

Here are my highlights today.

• I want to welcome our newest partners: Starwood, Lifelock, Chipotle and Red Hot and Blue. I also want to thank Pepco for coming on board once again.
• Thank you to Pepco for being a presenting sponsor of our first annual Go Green Night. The night was a huge success capped off by a franchise record crowd.
• The Mystics are #1 in league attendance this season thanks to our great fans.
• DC Lottery collected dozens of suits and accessories to benefit Suited for Change. Thank you to all those who donated.
• Don’t forget your cell phones and accessories on August 14th to benefit the Verizon Wireless Hopeline Collection. We want to surpass the 600 number from 2008.
• Congrats to Alana Beard, our resident All-Star!
• A special thank you to Alana and Chasity for participating in back-to-back Reading Time Outs for Pitney Bowes. You made a lot of kids (and adults) happy by reading to them.
• Remember to put August 30th on your calendar for our Breast Health Awareness game presented by Sibley Memorial Hospital. We will once again be auctioning PINK jerseys and much much more to benefit Sullivan Center.
• My little girl turned 6 in July. She now says that I cannot call her baby, but too bad, she’ll always be that.

GO MYSTICS!

Tuesday, July 28th - Catch up with GM Angela Taylor.

Hey Mystics Fans,

Wow, it’s been quite a while since I have blogged and so much has happened since then. Where should I begin? The thing that stands out the most is that the coaches and I really enjoy working with this group of players. They continue to work hard, challenge each other everyday in practice, improve from game to game, and keep us entertained along the way. Between BMo and Matee, there is never a dull moment.

All-Star Game
I definitely want to thank the Connecticut Sun staff & the folks at the Mohegan Sun for putting on a fabulous All-Star event last Saturday. It was quite amazing to look up into the rafters & witness a packed house waiting to cheer on the best women’s basketball players in the world.

As I watched the game, I was comforted by further confirmation of the fact that our league is in good hands when WNBA greats such as Lisa Leslie and Vickie Johnson retire this year. The young talent in this league is phenomenal & will be a joy to watch for years to come. I also was struck by how much fun they all were obviously having throughout all of the festivities. I’ve been to several WNBA All-Stars in the past, but I was really glad to see every member of the teams genuinely having a good time & enjoying themselves during the game.

We all were really excited for Alana & glad that she had a great game. I was even more excited that she was able to jump on the last flight out of Hartford that night instead of having to take a six-hour train ride on the night before a big game.

Parents Visit
I’d like to thank all of the folks who helped make my parents’ (see photo: courtesy of Donna) first trip to DC an eventful one. My mom continues to let anyone she runs into know that we were 4-2 during their 3 week visit to our nation’s capital. They had a great time touring the city, were able to avoid any home cooked meals made by yours truly, and absolutely loved meeting our players. The one lowlight of the trip (pointed out by Luby’s wife) was the fact that the Mystics polo I gave my dad for Christmas was 0-2 during the trip. That article of clothing will have to be burned!!!

I also was thrilled to be able to have a couple of my Stanford teammates & members of my extended family attend some recent games. Bobbie Kelsey, currently an assistant coach at Stanford, was here for our win against Chicago and Jennifer Azzi was here for our game versus Sacramento. They both were victories, so I may have to invite more former teammates to town in the future if they keep bringing us good luck!

It was so nice to see Coach Stringer at our Indiana game the other night as well. I have so much respect for what she has done for this game & for the impact she has had on the lives of all of the young women who have been fortunate enough to play in her programs. That was evident when I witnessed the sheer joy on Matee’s face when she rounded the corner after the game & saw Coach Stringer outside of our locker room.

What’s Next?
As round out the month of July with two important games against conference foes & head into a busy month of August, the team is focused & determined to solidify our hold on an Eastern Conference playoff spot while continuing to put four quarters of our best basketball together.

I know I say this all of the time, but please be sure to encourage your friends & family to join you for an upcoming Mystics game because the atmosphere here at the Verizon Center has been amazing & it is certainly one of the huge reasons why we play well at home.

Tune into Live Access for tonight’s game versus the Indiana Fever. It should be a great game!!!!

Go Mystics,
Angela

Monday, July 27th - Intern Arielle Haffner shares lessons learned from her internship with the Washington Mystics.

I have been interning with the Mystics for two months and 15 days exactly, and so far, it has been an amazing experience. I am a junior at Penn State double majoring in Public Relations and Psychology with a minor in International Studies. This summer, I am interning for the Community Relations department. Nicole, my supervisor, is smart, funny, and awesome! I am so lucky to be working for her—her enthusiasm is contagious! My primary responsibilities as a CR intern include escorting players to places such as autograph sessions and appearances, raising awareness about games and community events and writing memoranda for the players.

This summer has been full of firsts for me so far…let me explain. During the past few months, I have experienced my first staff meeting (overwhelming, but a good learning experience), my first open practice (intense), my first WNBA game (incredible) my first time using a basketball pump (scary and hilarious, since I came extremely close to breaking it), and more. Three months ago, I had no idea how many players are on our team’s roster (11), whom people were referring to when they said “AB” (Alana Beard), and what PPG, APG, and RPG stood for (points per game, assists per game, and rebounds per game, respectively). Last week, I learned about Twackle (like Twitter, but exclusively for sports). It’s obvious (and if it’s not, then it will be now) that the closest I have come to having experience with basketball are the things I learned from Love and Basketball and Coach Carter. For me, every day has been a learning experience.

My internship has taught me many valuable lessons. Here are a few of them:

1. Always be absolutely sure to save all documents on your computer. In case you somehow manage to mysteriously lose all of your information, you will have a backup copy.

2. Have an open mind. The world is full of different people. Everyone has different personalities, different hairstyles, different favorite songs, different (gasp!) favorite basketball teams, etc. We can either use these insignificant details to our advantage by allowing them to bring us closer together, or we can use our differences as an excuse to keep our distance from others. Everyone has a different perspective on each situation, and listening to others is a necessity.

3. Ask questions. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification.

4. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. A win is just a win, and a loss is just a loss. One thing that I truly admire about our players is that they don’t let the (few) losses that we have had affect their positive attitudes and determination to succeed. They let the seemingly negative experiences help shape more positive ones in the future. Our players are committed to becoming not only better players but also better people, and they continuously strive for excellence both on and off the court.

5. Without a doubt, the most important lesson I have learned is to not be afraid of the unknown. Routines and schedules are undoubtedly helpful, but at a certain point, being too careful and excessively cautious only hinders you from achieving your goals. If you don’t try new things, step outside of your comfort zone, or take risks, you won’t know how much you could have accomplished.

So be bold. Stand tall. Speak your mind. Be proud. Be creative. Fight for what you believe in. Be yourself. And last but of course not least, cheer for the Mystics.

Have a fantastic, spectacular, exciting, fun-filled, extraordinary week!

Washington Mystics Love,
Arielle

Friday, July 24th - Mike Ragan shares some big news!

Hey Mystics Fans—great times going on right now in Mystics land… Big six game homestand that has had some exciting games! It’s been nice to catch up with a lot of you at these events and our season ticket holder party. I hope everyone had fun at the zoo!! Mother Nature was certainly kind to us and its seemed like everyone had a great time interacting with the players and I know the staff enjoyed it!!

Interesting things going on for me personally as well... It appears my wonderful wife Jennifer and I are expecting our first child this Christmas!! We find out if it’s a boy or girl on August 5th so very excited about that!! Am I nervous, yes. Am I ready, no. Thanks to lots of great advice and some good book recommendations from Greg, I know a lot more then I did a few weeks ago!! Any advice besides “your personal life is over” is most welcome. All kidding aside, I see the joy that Adelyn brings Greg and it makes me really excited to become a dad.

Hope to see everyone out for Military Day on Sunday when we play Sacramento!

And if you haven’t heard, we are having Kids Day next Sunday vs Indiana which includes face painters, jugglers, ice cream specials and a post game autograph session. Kids Day tickets are $15! Call 1-877-DC-HOOP1 to get your seats!

Thanks again to all of our fans, its because of your support you that the entire organization is seeing progress this year!

Mike

Thursday, July 23rd - Greg Bibb checks in.

Hello Mystics fans. We suffered a tough loss on Tuesday night to League-leading Indiana, but we get another chance to earn a win tonight here at Verizon Center vs. the Chicago Sky. We take the court against Chicago with a 7-7 record. Chicago enters with an 8-9 mark. Needless to say, this is a big Eastern Conference match-up for us.

Sunday’s contest against Sacramento will mark the halfway point of the 2009 season. This is really hard for me to believe. It seemed like it took forever for the season to get here and now it is absolutely flying by. I have had an unofficial goal of 20 wins for our team this season and if we can get in the win column twice yet this week, we’ll hit the break at 9-7 and a 20-win season will remain a very obtainable aspiration.

Tonight’s game vs. Chicago will feature four 2009 all-stars, but in my opinion, that number should be five. Alana Beard will join Chicago’s Sylvia Fowles and Candice Dupree in the Eastern Conference starting line-up while the Sky’s Jia Perkins will play in the League’s mid-season showcase as a reserve. Somehow, Lindsey Harding was left off the all-star roster.

I don’t usually get too concerned with these types of things because they are done through a voting process where opinion and preference always play a big part in the decisions and that’s just the way it is. This time, however, I am truly miffed. In Harding you have the League leader in minutes played who also is third in the WNBA (while leading the Eastern Conference) in assists per outing. She is averaging over 13 points per contest for the season, 16.1 points per game over her last 10 outings and 19.2 points per night over her last five tilts. I’m having a hard time arriving at a point guard playing at a higher level in the WNBA right now, especially in the Eastern Conference. Hopefully, this snub inspires her to continue to play at the high level we have been enjoying so far this year.

While Sunday’s outing vs. Sacramento marks the end of our six-game homes stand, the Mystics will continue to enjoy home cooking for the majority of our games over the next few weeks. While the team hits the road for Indiana on July 28 and New York on July 30, the Mystics come back home on August 2 vs. the Fever and then August 7 vs. Detroit. Following a quick trip to Connecticut on August 9, we host the Shock again on August 7 before welcoming the Sun on August 14 and New York on August 16. In all, seven of our next 10 will be at home between now and the middle of August. Then the road really beckons with seven of our final 10 contests being played outside the beltway.

So get out here to Verizon Center and cheer on your Mystics. We need you. The team is fighting for a post-season berth and is playing exciting basketball. Come see all-star Alana Beard and the rest of team battle the best the WNBA has to offer.

Sibley Hospital Jersey Auction

Today marks the first of about 10 mentions I will make regarding our second annual Sibley Hospital Jersey Auction. The auction serves as the marquee event of our Breast Health Awareness Game, scheduled for Sunday, August 30. Last year, we raised over $37,000 for Sibley’s Sullivan Center for Breast Health. This year, the goal is $40,000! So make plans to be at this important game to celebrate breast cancer survivors and then stay after to bid on special edition, game-worn, pink jerseys. We’ll see you there!

Quote of the Week

“If you believe it’s too difficult, it will be. If you believe it is possible, it will be. If you want it to be, you need to believe.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• Thank you to Tom Watson for making the 2009 British Open so much fun to watch.
• Once again, it appears Yankees-Red Sox will be the most exciting divisional race in baseball this year.
• My dark horse NCAA football team for 2009…the Penn State Nittany Lions.
• Happy 43rd Wedding Anniversary to my parents, Jim and Carol.
• Don’t forget to watch the WNBA All-Star Game on Saturday…it’s live on ABC at 3:30pm EDT.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, July 22nd - Marissa Coleman shares the adventures of Boston in her rookie blog.

Tuesday, July 21st - Sheila Robinson talks about social networking.

Mystics Fans, I am back!

Let’s talk social networking..There is Myspace, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter and so many more, that I am not aware of. At first I was not a fan at all, but now I get it; I understand how it brings old friends together and new friendships are made. I also know the down side, once you are out there, people who you never want to hear from again, suddenly want to be your friend. I have a Facebook page, and I am on Linked In and Twitter too. I cannot handle any more than that, I don’t check any of them regularly and it’s not because I don’t want to, I just don’t have time; or have not yet factored it into my daily schedule. I like Facebook because I reconnected with a lot of high school friends who I lost track of and missed. A lot of them reside in the DC area and have been here for as long as I have been here (18 years). Can you guess how old I was when I moved here? Anyway, I enjoy looking at the pictures of the past and present, seeing how all of us have changed since 1982, yes that is correct, I have been out of high school almost 30 years! WOW! Seeing that in print gives me chills, because it means I am getting older, but more so I am surprised at how many of my high school chums I remember. Now there are some faces I just cannot remember, but the names are clear.

Anyway, on to Twitter; I am still trying to understand this. I like being able to say just a few words and have lots of people whom I never met respond. I am just now able to change my back ground, and I know how to respond to specific people, now I just need to engage in a lengthy dialog so I can get used to it. I have a lot of people following me, I know half of them, but Twitter and LinkedIn are good for business networking and Facebook is more personal, at least that is how I use them.

Lastly, I caution everyone who uses any social networking site to post responsibly. Though these sites are for you to write what you feel, you have to be aware of who is reading it. Your boss, a potential business partner, etc. Words can hurt, you can hit delete, but the impression is never gone.

That’s my time, take care fans.

One more thing: Washington Mystics take on Indiana Fever tonight at 7pm; if you cannot be here at Verizon Center, check us out on WNBA Live Access.

This is as real as it gets!

Monday, July 20th - Eboni Tyler LOVES the Washington Mystics.

Hey Mystics Fans,

I had a GREAT time at the Season Ticket Holder Event yesterday. It was AWESOME to see the Season Ticket Holders mix and mingle with the team and coaching staff. Greg was right when he said that "The Mystics have the BEST Season Ticket Holders in the league." The scavenger hunt went great as well. My colleagues and I are working hard to make your Mystics experience a memorable one.

Last time we talked about me being excited for this season and how our team was going to be better then ever. And to me it has been a GREAT start. Every game that we have played, the team has been in it to win it. They have fought the good fight every time. Some came easy and some - well we just didn’t finish. But I am still excited that we are LOOKING Great! FEELING Great! And Expecting Great! This is the year my gut tells me things are about to change. I am so Excited!

We have outstanding things happening here at the Mystics. We have definitely worked on building a more competitive team for you this year. Our GM and Coaching staff have really turned things around this season. Here in the office, we are working on getting your 2010 renewal packets together. My colleagues and I are working hard to make your Mystics experience a memorable one. The arena is looking good every night and the crowd is large and happy. Season ticket holders recently picked up their season holder gift. The ‘09 drawstring bag is AWESOME. It was autographed by the whole team. I mean it doesn’t get better then that. I believe that this season is very special. Mystics Fans, I am excited about this season even as we get closer to the middle, it is a great feeling. It has been a good start to a new beginning we have come so far as a team and organization that it just puts a smile on your face to know that we are on the positive side on the court and in the board room. It feels good to see and hear that you the fans are happy with the changes that we have made. We were even voted as The Emerging Business of The Year by the DC Camber of Commerce. The Mystics are doing BIG things here people. WE ARE MOVING ON UP!

On an even better note, ALANA BEARD is a STARTER on the 2009 WNBA ALL-STAR GAME! Man, that is something to be even more excited about. She has really played her butt off this season. Look at her numbers. It really makes you see that we have some BIG names with HUGE talent that are showing you Mystics Basketball at Verizon Center at least twice a week. It has been so much fun to watch. That has inspired me to talk as well as watch them on WNBA Live ACCESS for all away games. I even have my friends and family logging on to check them out. When they lose it hurts, I truly feel the pain. When they WIN, I feel the joy and happiness that is shown with how they celebrate. Let me say again – EXPECT GREAT FROM THE WASHINGTON MYTSICS, MYSTICS FANS! They are a really competitive team this season. And they are showing you what they are working with this season. I am just so SUPER EXCITED to be a part of the action!

I look forward to seeing you at the Verizon Center.

Continue Believing and EXPECT GREAT! GO MYSTICS!

It is as REAL AS IT GETS …. GO MYSTICS!

Eboni

Friday, July 17th - Nicole Jones reminds Mystics fans of our upcoming events.

Hey Mystics Fans,

Thank you for stopping by and checking in with me. It’s been an exciting year for us so far. The crowds are larger and the team is truly competing against our opponents. The crowd support encourages the team to no end. Please take that to heart and continue to come out and show your support. We in the Front Office have been working extremely hard making calls, sending emails, setting up sales tables, attending networking events, etcetera, etcetera. To see some of that hard work pay off in attendance and ticket sales numbers is a joy. So again, I say thank you.

Of course I acknowledge the fact that the team is actually playing harder this season. We told our faithful season ticket holders that this year was going to be different from a competitive standpoint and it has been. It’s relatively unbelievable to think that we really could and should be undefeated. Of our 6 losses, the largest margin was 12 points. After the season we had last year, this is a complete 180 degree turn. In comparison to last year, the ladies continue to play every minute of the ball game whereas they would have taken themselves out of it before. It’s been a remarkable transformation and I’m excited to be a part of it.

As I’m sure you’re already aware of, following tomorrow’s game, we will have a post game gospel concert featuring Deitrick Haddon. I look forward to seeing you there! Don’t forget about Professional Women’s Networking Night on July 21st with Dr. Sheila Johnson and Donna Orender presenting; Kids Day with $2 ice cream cones on August 2nd; Ladies Night with massages, manicures, and shopping on August 14th; a Princess Party with tiaras from Disney on August 16th; and a wine and cheese tasting on September 3rd. Certainly you’d be interested in attending one of these events prior to the game. By the way, to all the naysayers out there that were negatively vocal about adding Lindsey Harding to the roster, it’s been a pleasure to accept your apologies. Keep them coming!

Until next time…
Nicole

Thursday, July 16 - Greg Bibb checks in.

Welcome back to my little corner of the blogosphere. I’m writing this week’s entry just a few hours after our 79-78 loss to San Antonio. This defeat was a tough one to take. I’m sure everyone in the Mystics locker room would like to have that one back. On the bright side, I continue to be impressed with our team’s resolve and never-say-die attitude. We fought all the way back from a 12-point second half deficit to have a shot to win the game with 3.6 seconds left. Unfortunately, we never got a shot off and, as a result, fell to 6-6 on the season. The good news…we don’t have to wait long to try to get back in the win column as we will play four more home games over the next 11 days. This string tips-off vs. the New York on Saturday evening.

While the final score wasn’t what we were hoping for, our annual Camp Day was a huge success. Wednesday’s game welcomed 17,220 fans to Verizon Center, one of the largest crowds in franchise history. We are now averaging a WNBA-best 12,550 fans per game, up 4,193 fans per contest from 2008 and 5,363 fans per game from 2007. Mystics fans have been absolutely phenomenal this year. And yes, these numbers are real. I’ve heard some chatter about the increase in attendance coming from freebies and comps, and that’s just not true. In fact, paid tickets are up 77% from 2008 and 133% from 2207. Thanks again to our wonderful fans who have come out in remarkable numbers to support our ladies this season.

Congrats AB!

A much deserved note of congratulations for Mystics guard Alana Beard. AB has been named a starter for the East Squad in the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game. The Duke product is among the WNBA leaders in scoring, steals and minutes played. Our leading lady will play in the League’s mid-season event for the fourth time, but this will be her first starting role as voted on by the fans.

The all-star reserves, selected though the voting of WNBA head coaches, will be announced early next week. I think Lindsay Harding should be a lock to make the team. Lindsay ranks among the League leaders in assists and has paced the WNBA in minutes played for most of the season. Super sophomore Crystal Langhorne also deserves a nod in my opinion. The former Terp is third in the WNBA in rebounds, despite not starting.

The 2009 WNBA All-Star Game is set for Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, July 25. You can catch the game live on ABC.

Schedule Review

I mentioned it earlier, but we are busy around here! Four games in the next 11 days give you plenty of opportunities to come out and catch the Mystics live. Here’s a look at the next four:

  • Saturday, July 18 vs. New York; 7pm
  • Tuesday, July 21 vs. Indiana; 7pm
  • Thursday, July 23 vs. Chicago; 7pm
  • Sunday, July 26 vs. Sacramento; 4pm

    See you at Verizon Center!

    Quote of the Week

    “Bad habits are like chains that are too light to feel until they are too heavy to carry.”

    Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

    • I can’t believe NFL training camp starts in less than a month.
    • Circle October 3 on your calendar…it’s the Caps 2009-2010 home opener.
    • I’m excited to see the Indiana Fever on Tuesday night as we get a shot at the WNBA’s best team through the first quarter of the season.
    • I don’t want to jinx my Dodgers, but I really feel like they are going to win the World Series this year. We’ll see.
    • We need another big news story to move Michael Jackson out of the headlines and allow the man to rest in peace. Enough already.

    Until next time,

    Go Mystics!

    Tuesday, July 14th - Lauren Lafayette looks back on her 4th of July.

    Good Morning Mystics Friends and Family,

    Hasn’t the year just flown by. We are already in the month of July where the Mystics have a very busy schedule. We have six games within three weeks which does not leave much time for rest. While the team hasn’t enjoyed much rest over the last few weeks, I was able to take a much needed vacation during the holiday weekend. This was my first vacation in over a year where my main objective was to relax and enjoy the phenomenal weather.

    For me, the 4th of July holiday has never been a big deal; but this year I was able to celebrate my first Independence Day DC style on the National Mall. I was able to watch some of the most amazing fireworks and enjoy the sights of the national monuments up close and personal. From what I can gather, most residents of the District seem to flee the local area during this weekend to less urban, more resort like locales in the area. However, as I am a bit financially challenged I opted to spend the weekend in the city and all in all I had a wonderful time.

    What special event took place during your holiday weekend? What special traditions do you and your loved ones share? Let me in on some ideas for next year.

    Well, I am wishing everyone a wonderful week and I’ll see you on all on Wednesday, July 15th when the Mystics take on the San Antonio Silver Stars!!

    Lauren

    Monday, July 13th - Will Woldenberg recaps the Mystics exciting win against the Sparks.

    Hey Mystics Fans!

    Do the words “Beat LA” resonate in your ears like the dulcet sounds of soothing orchestral music? Did the sight of Alana Beard dropping 26 points (including the first 13 Mystics points) on the purple and gold make you shiver in anticipation? Did you, along with over 12,000 raucous fans, stand up and applaud the 12-0 run the Mystics went on to beat Candace Parker and the Sparks?

    If so, you were there on Saturday night when your Washington Mystics defeated the LA Sparks 75-63 at the Verizon Center. And you get it. As Howard Cosell used to famously say on Monday Night Football, “What a ball game this turned out to be!”

    The Sparks certainly made a game out of it; before the Mystics run of points to close out the victory, LA valiantly worked the glass, matching the Mystics in total number of rebounds (40) and they outshot our team at the charity stripe (86% from the free throw line).

    But what more could we, as Mystics fans, have asked for from Saturday nights game? It was, at times, a close game. It featured an underdog (in the mind of the general public) victory. Both teams demonstrated incredible athleticism on the court. There was consistent passion both on the sidelines and under the glass. And although Candace Parker didn’t play exceptionally well on Saturday night- which is understandable considering she just gave birth to a beautiful newborn girl- she played 23 hard minutes giving Washington an on-court celebrity sighting.

    We’re now 6-5 and play the next five games here in the friendly confines of the Verizon Center; it’s a crucial stretch. And, like Saturday nights game against LA, YOU play an integral part in the success of this team.

    Come out against San Antonio. Scream your heads off against New York. Help stop the Fever’s winning ways. Support the team against Chicago and Sacramento.

    Because if you were there on Saturday, you get it. This season is different. And thank you for helping to make it so.

    Friday, July 10th - Heather Locke is looking forward to Go Green Night.

    Happy Summer Mystics Fans!

    At the risk of being cliché, I am excited that summer is finally in full swing! This is my first summer in the DC area and I have found that it is not as humid and miserable as some people warned. (Hopefully when I check back again in August I will have the same attitude!) In fact, the weather has been beautiful and I have been out exploring along the Potomac and taking short outdoor getaways when possible.

    Summer also brings out the best in local musicians. I recently discovered the summer concert series at Fort Reno Park in Tenleytown. The free concerts in the park expose us to some very talented artists and it is fun to picnic during the concert with treats from the Whole Foods around the corner!

    The Mystics have been on the road since June 25th and the front office staff is excited to have the team back in town for six consecutive home games! While the team was on the road, I took the Fourth of July holiday to relax, get outside and run some much needed errands.

    Since the holiday we have been working hard to prepare for Go Green Night and our big game against the LA Sparks. Plan to be at the Verizon Center tomorrow night because there is something fun happening for every Mystics fan. Candace Parker has returned to the Sparks as a new mom and Marissa Coleman is back in action after an ankle injury. If the match up on the court isn’t enough – Go Green Night offers a free expo on the concourse and a chance to help the environment by donating a pair of your old jeans to insulate a house. I know- The concept sounds crazy so if you want to learn more, be here tomorrow night!

    Until next time,

    Thursday, July 9th - Greg Bibb checks in.

    I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July holiday weekend. The schedule makers were kind to us this year as we did not play a home game over the past weekend. Thus, the front office was able to enjoy a rare summer holiday with family and friends. As a result, Addy, Tara and I headed north to Pennsylvania for the normal round of family and friends visits, cookouts and good times.

    I then headed to Minnesota on Monday in advance of our game at Target Center on Tuesday evening. We dropped our tilt vs. the Lynx, 96-94, in overtime in what was certainly the most gut-wrenching defeat of the year. I thought the team played really hard, but we made just a couple of mistakes on the defensive end of the court down the stretch that cost us the game. Despite the mistakes, we still had plenty of chances to win the contest. This included holding a six point lead with less than three minutes to play, but we just couldn’t seal the deal. Give Minnesota credit, they found a way. It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but they found a way and earned the victory.

    On the bright side, Tuesday’s game marked the return of Bernice Mosby who re-joined the club in conjunction with the release of Tasha Humphrey. Be-Mo responded with 10 points, four rebounds and great energy off the bench in just under 15 minutes of action. I think she is going to fit in nicely with Coach Plank’s style of play and I’m excited to see her progress this season.

    Lindsey Harding also had a solid performance. The WNBA leader in minutes played per game put in another 35-plus minute effort in Minny, bagging 27 points on a healthy 10 of 17 from the field. We are a different team with her on the court and I challenge you to find another point guard in the League right now playing at a higher level.

    Bernice wasn’t the only addition to the Mystics roster as Marissa Coleman returned to the court after a six-game absence due to an ankle injury. Marissa played just over 10 minutes while working off the rust from her extended layoff. While her impact was somewhat muted in her first outing in over three weeks, I believe Marissa gives us the additional weapon on offense that will make the difference between winning and losing close games down the road and I’m happy she is back on the court.

    I thought Tuesday’s game was interesting in the fact that I see the Lynx and Mystics as two of the more talented, younger teams in the WNBA right now. Like us, Minnesota likes to play push the ball when they have the chance and take advantage of their youth and athleticism. I really enjoyed watching the perimeter match-ups, particularly Alana Beard vs. Candice Wiggins and Lindsey Harding vs. Kelly Miller/Renee Montgomery. Maybe I’m biased, but I think both Minnesota and Washington will be making plenty of noise in the WNBA for the foreseeable future.

    So now we head home to Verizon Center for six straight starting Saturday vs. Los Angeles. We are an even 5-5. We have struggled a bit recently, but home cooking cures a lot of ills and I’m confident our record will be much improved at the conclusion of the upcoming home stand. We’ve lost five of our last seven, but most nights we have played hard and been in the game with a chance to win down the stretch. I remain very optimistic about our group and where we are heading.

    Super Support

    One of the reasons I feel so good about the upcoming half dozen home games is because I know the team will be playing in front of large crowds. The Mystics are currently averaging well over 11,000 fans per game. This is more than a 2,000 fans per game increase over last season and nearly a four thousand fans per game bump from 2007! I know the big, supportive crowds make a difference for our team and I speak for the entire organization when I thank you for the unbelievable support so far this season.

    Saturday’s crowd vs. LA promises to be another big one and then we will host over 15,000 youngsters for our annual Camp Day on July 15. Verizon Center will be rocking indeed for the next few home dates.

    Quote of the Week

    “If you want to shine like the sun, first you must burn like it.”

    Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

    • Candace Parker will be here on Saturday, playing in just her third game following her return from maternity leave. It should be an exciting night at Verizon Center.
    • Will the Indiana Fever ever lose again? Indiana has reeled off eight straight wins to lead the Eastern Conference, and the WNBA, with an 8-2 record.
    • I understand the importance Michael Jackson has played in both our entertainment and social history, but I got to tell you, I think the media coverage surrounding his passing has been over the top.
    • Most everyone I talked to in Minneapolis earlier this week is convinced Brett Favre will be a Viking this season. If this happens, I can’t wait to watch the Minnesota at Green Bay game this fall.
    • Six home games in a 16 day span provide plenty of reasons to get out to Verizon Center during the month of July to root on the home team.

    Until next time,

    Go Mystics!

    Wednesday, July 8th - Erin Mitchell looks forward to seeing the team back on July 11.

    Greetings Mystics Fans!

    Are you ready to get back to the Verizon Center to see our team in action?! I certainly am! The ladies have been on a grueling road trip and I can imagine that they are ready to get back in front of the best fans in the WNBA and play hard for you. Can’t wait to see you on the 11th when we take on the LA Sparks. Following LA we will host our annual Camp Day on July 15 and the building will be rocking with summer campers from the DC Metro area watching the Mystics take on the San Antonio Silver Stars. If you are a Camp Director, a parent with a child in summer camp or even a camper make sure your group has their tickets for Camp Day. On July 18 we will face another conference rival in the NY Liberty. This night is also our Gospel Night and fans will be able to see Deitrick Haddon perform following the game. Church leaders – this will be an awesome night with great basketball and a concert, so make sure we see you at 7 on that evening. Another event that I’m looking forward to in July is the Mystics first Women’s Networking Night. On July 21, you will have the opportunity to hear from and mingle with some of the most influential women in the business world, including Sheila C. Johnson, President and Managing Partner of the Washington Mystics and WNBA President Donna Orender. This is a can’t miss event, so ladies I expect to see you at 4:30pm on July 21 with business cards in hand and ready for a spectacular evening. Give me a call at 202-527-7510 or send me an email if you’d like more information on any of these events.

    This past weekend the nation celebrated Independence Day. I hope you all had a great time with family and friends and took at least a moment to reflect on the freedom that Americans are entitled to. Despite tough economic times, we truly are a fortunate people and I am grateful for all of the liberties that we have. In addition to the 4th of July holiday my family came from near and far to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday (seems like every blog I’m talking about a birthday). We had a FANTABULOUS time!!! There were a few glitches in the matrix, but overall the party went off without a hitch. My mom saw friends and family that she hadn’t seen in YEARS and she even shed a few happy tears. Once I saw the tears of joy all of my stress and anxiety went away. She’s going to enjoy the rest of the week with my aunts from Georgia, an uncle from Florida as well as family from Philly and Connecticut. Thanks to all of my friends, family and co-workers for keeping me sane throughout the planning process – Dora was pleased! Happy Birthday, Mom!!

    So that is what is going on in my world. I can’t wait to see you all on July 11!

    Erin

    Tuesday, July 7th - Assistant Coach Luby Lichonczak gives us a bit of history.

    Hello Mystics Fans :)

    It has been a while since you have heard from me. In that time we had some great performances. Our win at Detroit was a great one!!! Marissa Coleman in that game showed that she will be a great player. Detroit at the end of the game put Katie Smith on her and even that was not enough.

    In Detroit, I was able to see some members of my family. My son Yov who is an Engineer for General Dynamics, we are very proud of him. My brother Taras, a retired Detroit police sergeant, his wife Ann and my mother-in law Katharina Melnyk were also able to attend. She is 86 and had a great time, she was yelling at the refs at the top of her lungs. In San Antonio, I was able to see my daughter Nika and her husband Jubal. By the way, San Antonio was another great win. Now if we can only get my family to come to all of our away games.

    The Detroit game gave me time to reflect about my parents. I grew up in Detroit and my parents are buried there. This July 10th will be one year since my mother passed away. Melanija Kowal Lichonczak and my dad Stan Lichonczak were in Tom Brokaw’s words, out of the greatest generation. They were both as teenagers forced to work for the Nazis. My mother on a farm from which she escaped and was later sent back to work in a kitchen camp, and my father in an airplane factory. They did not talk about their experiences to us for it was too painful. My brother and I would pick up bits and pieces only when some of my parents’ friends would come over and they would talk about it late at night, when they thought the kids where asleep. Naturally, we would pretend to be asleep and peak around the corner to hear every word.

    My parents brought us to the U.S.A. to escape the Communist regime that had taken over their homeland. Their dream was to provide a better life for their children than what was available back in Eastern Europe. They came to the U.S. with six dollars in their pockets and could not speak English. They worked very hard each and every day. My father would go to work and in the evening would go to night school. I would go with him often, to help him with his lessons. It was with great pride that he graduated from school and passed his citizen test for us to all become Citizens of the United States.

    One of my greatest thrills was in 1999 we, that is my wife Maryann, son Yov, daughter Nika and I took my parents back to visit their family in Europe. My mother got to see her brothers for the first time in over 50 years and my father saw his brother who was blind from an attack during the war. They missed their families terribly during those years and were very grateful for the opportunity to catch up.

    There are not enough words for me to thank my parents for all that they have done for our family. All I can do is be thankful for their sacrifices and the life lessons they have instilled in all of us. That is to work hard every day and be thankful for what you have, for there are many people less fortunate than any of us.

    Hope you don’t mind my departure from talking about the Mystics but my parents would be very proud of my association with this organization. They were always able to recognize good people and they would see that everyone with the Mystics aspires to what they believe in.

    Luby

    Monday, July 6th - Liz Sellers is enjoying the Mystics' fan support.

    Hey Mystics Fans,

    Hope you all had a great 4th of July! I enjoyed the fireworks on the National Mall for the second year in a row, thank goodness the rain held off this year. What a show! I’m always amazed at the variety of size and colors. With the 4th celebrations wrapping up, the WNBA season is in full swing.

    The Verizon Center is the place to be in DC during the month of July. When the team returns from Minnesota this week they will host six games in the next two weeks, including Sacramento on the Sunday following the All-Star game. Since the season opener the fans have been fantastic. The front office staff has heard on several occasions that the players appreciate the tremendous support and notice the excitement every time they step on the floor. The energy in the arena is contagious, keep it up!

    I hope to see you all this Saturday, as the Mystics take on the Los Angeles Sparks at 7pm. We anticipate a great match-up and a Mystics win!

    I look forward to next time…

    Liz

    Friday, July 3rd - Mystics office closed for 4th of July holiday.

    Thursday, July 2nd - Greg Bibb checks in.

    Happy July and welcome back. It may be hard to believe, but we are approaching the quarter pole of the 2009 season. The team enters tomorrow’s game at Atlanta with a 5-3 record, including a 3-2 mark on the road. Since we lost Marissa Coleman to her ankle injury, we have gone 2-3, including a big win at San Antonio on Tuesday night. I’m hopeful our number one pick out of Maryland can return to the line-up soon. Her treatment has been progressing nicely. Hats off to our trainer and all-world healer, Navin Hettiarachchi.

    Even though we have lost a few games without Marissa recently, I think we are going to be fine. Every defeat has been a tightly played game. In our last two losses to Phoenix and Chicago, we held leads in the second half. I think the thing that impresses me the most about our team is how we compete. While we have a bad habit of starting slow, we seem to always find a way to battle back and make a game of it. I think this year’s roster is full of competitors who hate to lose and because of that, we’ll be in most games this season.

    I also think a team takes on the personality of the head coach and we’re no exception. Julie Plank is a winner and because of that, I’m comfortable telling you I think we’ll win more than we lose in 2009. We have good team chemistry and we are staring to believe in ourselves. Our last second win at San Antonio the other night certainly strengthened our resolve in this area.

    So two more on the road…in Atlanta on Friday and at Minnesota on Tuesday and then back to Verizon Center for six straight, eight of our next 10 and 11 of our next 14. This will be a very important stretch of games for us as we end the season playing seven of our final ten dates on the road.

    The month of July will be a fun one with six games at Verizon Center in a 16-day span. This stretch will tip-off with a July 11 date vs. Los Angeles. The playing status of both Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie remains up in the air, but both started practicing with the Sparks this week. Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to welcome the reigning MVP to Verizon Center while saying an official farewell to one of the League’s all-time greats. If you don’t have tickets, give us a call and get them today!

    What Sophomore Slump?

    Right now I would argue that Crystal Langhorne is a strong candidate for both the WNBA’s Most Improved Player Award and the Sixth Woman of the Year Award. Lang’s game has improved dramatically during her sophomore season. The former Terrapin is averaging 12 points and eight rebounds per game. She currently leads the Mystics and is third in the WNBA in boards while playing just under 27 minutes per game. She is also shooting over 55% from the field and has improved her free-throw shooting measurably, connecting on nearly 73% of her foul-shots. Way to go Lang!

    Floor General

    When we acquired Lindsey Harding from Minnesota during the off-season, we were confident the former #1 overall pick out of Duke would improve our backcourt play. I think we are all surprised, however, at just how good she has been. Lindsey posted 19 points in the win over the Silver Stars to raise her scoring average to 10.1 points per game. She currently ranks second in the WBNA in assists per outing, at 6.1 dishes per contest. Oh, by the way, she is averaging a gaudy 35.8 minutes per game and is one of the better rebounding guards in the League, grabbing over three boards each night. Most importantly, her presence has allowed Alana to spend more time focusing on scoring and less time on handling the ball, which is a huge plus for our club. If I was voting, I think Crystal Langhorne’s biggest competition for most improved player in 2009 would come from her own teammate, Lindsey Harding.

    All-Star Voting

    Remember, now is your chance to help ensure there is plenty of Mystics representation in the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game. Voting continues through July 7, so log on to WNBA.com and cast your votes. Then, be sure to catch the game live on ABC from Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, July 25.

    Quote of the Week

    “An idea not coupled with action will never get bigger than the brain cells it occupies.”

    Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

    • How about the Minnesota Lynx, winners of three straight and owners of a 7-3 record after losing star Seimone Augustus for the season.
    • The only team hotter than the Lynx right now may be the Indiana Fever. After starting the season 0-2, the Fever has won six straight to vault to the top of the WNBA Eastern Conference standings.
    • I think Alana Beard is playing MVP caliber basketball. I would hope she is recognized for her outstanding play with an All-Star selection.
    • What a difference a year makes…we are fourth in the WNBA in scoring at 78.75 points per game, nearly 10 more points per game than 2008.
    • We are also significantly improved on the defensively side of the ball, ranking third in steals at 10 and a half per contest. Hopefully, we can steal two more road wins over the next few days!

    Until next time,

    Go Mystics!

    Wednesday, July 1st - Lisa Ciaravella introduces herself to the Mystics faithful.

    Hey Mystics fans!

    Greetings from the weight room! First, thank you for attending the home games. It really gives the players some extra energy and your support has been amazing. I hope everyone is basking in the beautiful weather, getting outside and staying more fit then ever.

    Second, let me introduce myself. My name is Lisa Ciaravella, and I am the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Mystics. It has been two months since I moved to DC for the summer and what an exciting two months it has been! New team, new co-workers, new owner, new role with a team, new everything! From the day I set foot in the office, I was overwhelmed with energy, a positive buzz if you will. Everyone was eager for the season to begin and eager to create a new history for this franchise. Coach Julie, Dr. J, Angela Taylor and all of the assistant coaches have been amazing motivators, and it has been an honor to work amongst them. Personally, I have been motivated to do one thing……GET THE PLAYERS STRONGER! I was eager to get these folks (the team) in the weight room and give them a new outlook on strength and conditioning. I had no idea the monster I was about to create.

    My first couples of days were intense. We tested speed, agility, quickness, power and conditioning. This is the foundation by which we build each of the individual strength and conditioning programs. Once we had this completed, we started our workouts, and oh boy did we start working out…EVERYDAY! It has been intense but has paid off.

    We don’t have issues of people not wanting to workout like many other teams experience; however these days we do experience occasional workout disruption due to excessive flexing (aka: checking our their muscles) in the mirrors of the weight room (the room is 90% mirrored).

    We take a great sense of pride in the fact that we work hard in the strength and conditioning department, so much so that daily I hear comments like “Did you hurt yourself?... ‘Cause this arm is made of stone!” after giving someone a high-five after a good play. And then there is the occasional delay at the start of our workout due to excessive dancing in the weight room mirror because”Coach I can’t help it, I am just that fine!” Oh, the life of strength coach with the Washington Mystics…too funny!

    Lisa