June 2009

Tuesday, June 30th - Tim Gallant talks about the Mystics season.

Hello Mystics Nation,

Hope all is well out there. I thought an appropriate topic would be to talk about you the fans. I know that in a perfect world, the Mystics go undefeated this season, win each game by 30 points, throw down windmill dunks and set the record for being the best sports team on the planet. Well, I hate to interrupt your mirage, but this is real life calling you back. The WNBA is a tough league, and the teams are so close in talent level, that it makes it impossible for any team to run the table. Look at LA. Who would have thought they would be anywhere but undefeated with Tina Thompson, Lisa Leslie, and Candace Parker? But as Boomer would say, ‘that is why they play the games’. You just never know what is going to happen in this league and as much as you try to predict, you just have to let the season pan out.

All that was to set up the argument I am making, which is to tell you the fans not to panic. We lose two games, and I have already heard suggestions to trade players, move the team, and forfeit the league. Relax DC. Take a deep breath with me. Innnnnnn, and releaseeeeee. There. Feel Better? Now Wake Up!!! Are you crazy Mystics fans? If I had told you earlier this year that we would start 4-3, playing four of those games without our second leading scorer, I’m pretty sure all of you would have taken that. So, wait a month or so before you pass judgment on this team. If you need some perspective, take a look around the league. No team is dominating, and no team is horrendous. It is going to be a tight race all the way to the end of the season, and I am excited that we have two fearless leaders in Ms. Plank and Ms. Taylor driving the boat.

Go Mystics
Tim

Monday, June 29th - Veronica Sander looks forward to Go Green Night on July 11th.

Hey Mystics Fans!

Back again for Round 2 on Pass the Blog and I have much more to report now. Thank you to all of you who have attended our first three home games and the energy you bring to the stands, it is truly contagious! Please continue to keep the energy high and show the WNBA who has the best fans in the League.

On another note, I have to give a shout out to Kristi Toliver and all of the individuals who came up from Harrisonburg last week to support her first WNBA game in Washington, DC. Two of my Spanish teachers, one from Middle School and one from High School, were in attendance and it was wonderful to see them for the first time in years!

The team will be traveling for the next two weeks and we will take on LA on July 11th. That day, we will be hosting our Go Green Night and will have a Green Expo on the concourse, Silent Auction for Player Autographed Warm-ups and a Denim Drive! Please bring a pair of jeans to be donated and recycled into natural cotton fiber insulation and given to rebuild communities in need. What easier way to clean out your closet and help build a home than to donate a pair of jeans? Bring to the game on July 11th and we’ll take care of the rest!

Enjoy the upcoming beautiful weekend and until next time… GO MYSTICS!

-Veronica

Friday, June 26th - Megan Burda’s favorite season is here.

Summer is officially here!

With the season in full swing, so is the sunny weather (when it’s not raining). Along with the weather and spirit of the season come cookouts, family time and hanging out with friends. This summer, like any other, the beach will be seeing a lot of me. With the Mystics season taking over the summer months, an extended vacation is already planned for November…Bahamas! Since this is my first summer in DC, I have realized that there is plenty to do when the sand and waves are nowhere near. My friends and I have taken a liking to ‘Carpool’ in Arlington. With its outside tables and cozy atmosphere, you can’t beat it, we claim out spot every Wednesday. After a long day at work, the wings are unbelievable and you just can’t say no to the quesadillas. And believe it or not, I forgot that my apartment has a pool! You can guarantee you will find me there daily.

With the fourth of July around the corner, I must say that it is one of my favorite holidays; one because it’s during the warm weather and two, it means our family’s annual get- together! Between our annual softball game, bushel and bushel of crabs, fireworks and my grandfather’s famous fruit salad, it’s a day where the Burdas and the Serios gather for a fun time. Family from the south come to Maryland for the weekend then we all pack up and head for the beach house. With cousins growing up and getting married, it’s not the same as when we were little but it gets more interesting every year.

Until next time….GO MYSTICS!

Thursday, June 25th - Greg Bibb checks in.

Welcome back and hello to summer, which officially began on Sunday. I love this time of year…warm weather, long days and plenty of WNBA basketball. Here’s what’s on my mind this 25th day of June, 2009.

So Far, So Good…But The Road Beckons

We enter the fourth week of the 2009 WNBA season with a 4-1 record and a first place standing in the Eastern Conference. We are now 2-1 on the road and 2-0 at Verizon Center. We have wins over Connecticut, Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago…all Eastern Conference opponents. We are near the top of the WNBA in team scoring, averaging over 79 points per game. We are playing a fun brand of basketball and we are getting contributions from deep on our bench.

Now we embark on a challenging part of our schedule…after hosing a very talented (and high scoring) Phoenix side tonight, the Mystics will play four in-a-row on the road. The trip begins in Chicago on Saturday followed by a jaunt to San Antonio on June 30, a return trip to Atlanta on July 3 and swing through Minnesota on July 7. If we can get through the next four with some success, we will put ourselves in a great position to make some noise during the remaining part of July as the road trip is followed by a seven-game homestand.

I’m excited to watch tonight’s game as we welcome the offensive juggernaut that is the Phoenix Mercury. Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter know how to fill up a stat sheet and rookie DeWanna Bonner looks like a superstar in the making. Phoenix loves to run the floor, score first, score second, score third and worry about defense later.

Here in Washington, our transition game isn’t too shabby either, so tonight will be fun. Tip is at 7pm, so come on out to Verizon Center and enjoy what promises to be an entertaining outing. It’s your last chance to see the hometown team until July 11.

Congrats Alana

Congratulations are due to Alana Beard who was named the WNBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played June 15-21. AB averaged 25.5 points per outing while also notching four rebounds, three steals and 2.5 assists per game. The Duke grad popped for 31 points in our win over Chicago here on Saturday. This is the fourth Player of the Week Award for Alana in her six-year WNBA career. Congrats!

Father’s Day Fun

I had a great Father’s Day. I attempted to sleep in as I was at the arena late following our win over Chicago on Saturday for a Girl Scout Sleepover; however, Adelyn decided we should celebrate dad’s special day early, around 8am. The picture on the right is Adelyn waking me up with a “Happy Father’s Day” greeting. Notice the shoes…they are her mother’s. My daughter is obsessed with shoes, especially Tara’s, which she attempts to wear around the house any chance she gets.

After homemade chocolate chip pancakes courtesy of Tara and a present or two from the little one, we were off to the park to play. Later in the day, we drove to Frederick, MD to meet my mom and dad for dinner. We had a great time (as always) visiting with “Poppy and Nanee” and really enjoyed the food at the Red Horse Steak House…I highly recommend it. On the way home we stopped in Gaithersburg for our favorite Bruster’s Ice Cream…note to everyone in the area…we need a Bruster’s closer than Gaithersburg!

Tara also got to spend time with her dad over the weekend as he and “Nana Joby” came to our game on Saturday night. All in all, I would say it was a successful Father’s Day. I hope all the dads out there had a great day too.

All-Star Balloting

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to visit wnba.com and vote for the 2009 WNBA All-Stars. You can also pick up a ballot at Verizon Center. Remember, the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game is set for the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, July 25.

Quote of the Week

“Don’t turn back halfway, because the distance will still be the same.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• Congrats to Alex Ovechkin…back to back NHL MVP Awards!

• Kudos to Bob Woods, the former Hershey Bears coach joins Bruce Boudreau’s Capitals coaching staff.

• Mannywood is set to return to Dodgerland. Look out MLB.

• Will she or won’t she, that is the question…Candace Parker are you coming to DC on July 11?

• Thank you fans! We are off to a great start at the gate and the support we have received so far this season has been awesome. See you tonight!

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, June 24th - Natalia Isaac isn’t surprised by the Mystics' exciting start.

Hey Mystics Fans...

We are 4-1!! We are very excited about our start; however, we are not satisfied. It may be a surprise to those outside the Mystics family how well this team is playing. But not to us. This team has been working hard since they returned from overseas. The players have been committed to being a great team and they work at it daily. So our early success is no surprise...its an expectation.

Now the last time I wrote, one of my squad members, CASSAUNDRA, told me that I got a little chatty. The funny thing is: she asked me to write her first blog for her. But I don't want to throw her under the bus about that. :)

Special shout out to Kristen Mann!! Welcome back to the family. And a special Get Well Soon Like Real Soon to Marissa!! Lastly....CONGRATULATIONS to Alana for being named Player of the Week! Long overdue and we hope for many more from you!

With that said, make sure you have purchased your season ticket packages for the season! Don't miss out on all the Mystics fun at the Verizon Center!

-Natalia

Tuesday, June 23rd - Click here to read Marissa Coleman's rookie blog, where she shares the adventures of the "young and crippled".

Monday, June 22nd - Joey Levin introduces himself to the Mystics family.

How goes it Mystics Fans! My name is Joey Levin, I am the Video Coordinator for your FIRST PLACE Washington Mystics. Before I go any further about the Mystics, I want to clear up a couple things about the position of Video Coordinator. There seems to be a common misconception about what exactly a Video Coordinator does. So let me clarify it a little bit for you all. You know the highlights on the website, the replays during the game, the graphics up on the big board in the Verizon center, the commercials on TV about the mystics…I have nothing to do with any of that. In fact the closest thing I do to any of that is an occasional highlight tape to show the team to get them pumped up. My main duty as Video Coordinator is to assist the coaches in all facets of scouting. That includes but is not limited to, breakdowns of opposing teams offenses and defenses, as well as breaking down our own games to show to the team. The other common misconception is that with a title like Video Coordinator that must make you a video and computer whiz. Although I do know my way around the computer, I am a basketball guy first and a video guy second. I just happened to break into basketball at a time when video has become one of the more important tools in terms of team and individual improvement. The hours are looooong and it’s not very glamorous, but I LOVE IT!

Enough of my video coordinator issues, lets talk about the team. The season is going great so far, 4-1, first place in the east. I can’t say enough about the front office and the coaching staff everyone here is great. But you all know the Big Dawgs of the organization already, so I want to show a little love to people behind the scenes with me real quick. They call us the Squad…our motto is “That’s what we do” because the odds are if something needs to get done, “that’s what we do.” From left to right we have Natalia Isaac (Basketball Operations Coordinator) let’s just say without her, EVERYONE in this office would be lost, she does everything. Cassaundra Lockett (Equipment Manager) takes care of everyone’s gear, and does a great job, Mikhail Ovechkin (Team Operations) showed me the ropes a little bit when I got here and helps me out a ton with player personnel film. Then there’s Drew Ryan, he’s everyone’s assistant, our all purpose guy, he helps me, the coaches, Angela our GM, he does a little of everything. Finally there’s the unsung hero of the Squad Thuc Phan. Thuc is from George Mason and he’s our own personal computer and video expert within the operations department. He is a genius, even though he says it just seems like he is and when he’s here things just seem to go smoothly (even though he has some issues with timing). Word spread around the office about him so quick that now whenever I need him it seems like someone else already has him helping them out. Well that’s about it from me, glad I could give you all a little insight into the behind the scenes of basketball operations. So look out for the SQUAD and stayed tuned, I think we are in for a special season. It’s a great time to be a Mystic!

Joey

Friday, June 19th - Taryn Bushrod realizes that she is not cut out for the big apple.

My Weekend Excursion

This past weekend I caught the Bolt Bus to New York to visit my best friend for his birthday. The bus has plush leather seats that recline which made my ride more pleasurable. As soon as I arrived in the city we caught the train to Harlem to go to a BBQ restaurant called Dinosaurs. The food was so good I must go back next trip. I miss the wings already. When we left Dinosaurs we went back to the city to finally take my heavy bag to his office. I got a quick tour of the RCA/Jive tower of the Sony BMG building and headed out for a little shopping.

Can you imagine rolling a heavy duffle bag around the city in the rain while holding an umbrella? That’s not how I envisioned my Saturday, but it got better. We went bowling at Lucky Strike in Manhattan which has to be the biggest and best one ever, and went to a rooftop party in Midtown. Before we could head home to Brooklyn, we had to go back to Sony to get our bags which was the highlight of the evening. The cab driver kept trying to take us to an underground restaurant in China Town called Hooba Hoobba to eat snake. There were a lot of blank stares in the cab because none of us were convinced that cobra is “delicious” as the cab driver insisted. The cab driver just wanted his free beers and snakes that he gets when he bring people to the restaurant.

In the midst of bar hopping, my best friend lost his credit card. Lucky for him I remembered where…Hook and Ladder. We caught a cab back there got the card and finally headed to Brooklyn. After a long day we all fell asleep in the cab and of course the cab driver got lost. Once we arrived at the apartment that they had just moved to the night before, I then remembered that the night would be spent without electricity. The gas and electric company couldn’t come until Monday so the roommate ran an extension cord from an outlet in the hallway into their apartment.

After the Saturday I had I realized I may not be cut out for New York. It is too much going on and it takes some getting used to. Go to bed late, wake up early and do it all over again. Sunday was filled with good food and great shopping in Soho. The only thing in my way was my heavy duffle bag that I had to leave in a locker at New York Sports Club and go back and get before I left for the city to catch my bus back to Baltimore.

It was a long weekend and I’m still trying to recover, but that won’t happen this weekend either because it’s game time. Be sure to tune in to WNBA LiveAccess for the Atlanta game and I’ll see you at Verizon Center for the Chicago game.

Taryn

Thursday, June 18th - Greg Bibb checks in.

Welcome back to Pass the Ball, Bibb style. The WNBA schedule has us in the latter stages of a rare 10-day hiatus. The break has been nice for the business side of the organization as we have had the chance to “clean up” from the opening weekend and prepare for our game this Saturday vs. the Chicago Sky. On the team side, you never want to stop playing when things are going well and after a big win in Detroit on June 10, it is safe to say things have been going well.

The team is now 3-0 for the first time in franchise history with two wins coming on the road. Our attack has been balanced. Our bench has been deep. Head Coach Julie Plank has called all the right numbers in getting us off to such a great start. We are young and we are playing with energy and purpose. We are, in fact, The Young and the Restless.

Things look and feel good at this point, but the WNBA season is 34 games in length. There is much work to do and a whole lot of basketball to be played, including two big games this weekend…at Atlanta on Friday night and then back here at Verizon Center on Saturday evening. Unfortunately, we’ll be taking the court without Marissa Coleman who injured her ankle in practice on Sunday. Marissa will most likely be out four to six weeks, which will create a big void in Coach Plank’s rotation. The rookie out of Maryland was playing well over 20 minutes per game and had been one of the League’s best from behind the 3-point arc during the early stages of the season.

Fortunately, the aforementioned depth I mentioned should help us through this stretch. In addition, Kristen Mann, who was with the team during training camp, has been re-signed. Kristen can play either the three or the four and is one of the better pure shooters the League has seen in recent years. We are fortunate to have her join us.

Kristen’s arrival means GM Angela Taylor needed to create a space for her on the roster by waiving another player. Thus, we say goodbye to Josephine Owino. While Jo didn’t play in a game, everyone in the organization has been impressed with her work ethic and positive attitude. I’m confident she will enjoy a long WNBA career down the road. We wish her the best.

As for Saturday, if you don’t have your tickets yet, what are you waiting for? The Mystics are undefeated and in first place in the Eastern Conference. Now is certainly the time to get on board with the team this season. Give us a call at 1-877-DCHOOP1.

So Long, Bill

On Monday, Bill Laimbeer resigned as the General Manager and Head Coach of the Detroit Shock. The former Detroit Pistons “Bad Boy” is leaving to pursue NBA coaching opportunities. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny the man’s success…six consecutive playoff appearances, four Eastern Conference Championships and three WNBA titles. He took the Shock from worst to first and provided a ton of press and storylines for the League. Good luck Bill, you’ll be missed.

Bowling with the Mystics

On Tuesday, we held a special “Jam Session” event with our M Class, Courtside and VIP season ticket holders at 300 Shady Grove, an upscale bowling alley in Gaithersburg, MD. We all had a great time mingling with our fans, enjoying good conversation and entertaining bowling. I always enjoy these types of events as they serve as reminders of how lucky we are to have the best fans in the WNBA.

Dads & Daughters Night

Don’t forget, this Saturday’s game vs. the Chicago Sky is Dads & Daughters Night. Per tradition on this date, we will celebrate the special relationship between fathers and their daughters. We are offering a special package right now that includes a ticket to the game on June 20, a voucher for our June 25 game vs. Phoenix and a special pass to come down on the court following the tilt vs. the Mercury to shoot a free throw. Dads and Daughters will also be eligible to win free VIP tickets and a team autographed basketball. I will be bringing my daughter and if you are a Dad, I hope you will too.

Event Level Club

The Event Level Club is sold out for Saturday’s game vs. Chicago, but there are still a few tickets remaining for our contest against Phoenix on Thursday, June 25. Give us a call if you want to get in on the action.

Quote of the Week

"Constant dripping hollows out a stone."

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• Congratulations to the Hershey Bears…2008-09 Calder Cup Champions!

• The Lakers claimed the organization’s 15th NBA Championship on Saturday and Phil Jackson passed Red Auerbach with his 10th title. My Celtics’ blood is boiling.

• The Pittsburgh Penguins are Stanley Cup Champions…how good is the Pittsburgh-Washington rivalry going to be over the next 10 years or so?

• We are now just two weeks into the WNBA regular season and there have already been two coaching changes. The 2009 season is shaping up to be an interesting one.

• Congrats to the Greater Washington Sports Alliance. The GWSA led the way, with a big assist from the Washington Redskins and Destination DC, in Washington, DC winning the bid to host the 2011 Army-Navy Football Game. Kick-off for the 112th edition of this national classic is December 10, 2011 at FedExField.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, June 17th - Dana Simonelli gives us a quick rundown of the past week.

Hey Mystics Fans,

Where to begin!! Well first I forgot that I had to blog today, so Ketsia is on me to get this entry written. I don’t know what happened, but I did not mark it down in my calendar. So I am going to run down some trails of events the past couple weeks.

First let’s get started with our 3-0 Washington Mystics!! Whoop Whoop! I am so proud of the team and all there effort thus far. It will be good to get back on the court this Friday and Saturday and hopefully add to the win column. I am also proud of the team and their effort and enthusiasm during season ticket holder events. Last night we held the VIP Jam session for all of our Courtside and VIP season ticket holders. We had a bowling event for them with the team. The team was great and bowled with the fans and I think they secretly love bowling from the looks of it. By the way Mo Currie is so funny when she bowls. She totally kicks her leg to the side way too late!!

I also had the chance to go home to NJ this past weekend. I saw a great aunt of mine who was visiting from San Diego. It was very nice to see her and spend time with family. We also celebrated Father’s Day a week early with my Dad since I will not be in town next week. My Mom made a great steak dinner and we had a couple little gifts for my Dad and some great Carvel ice cream cake. I swear ice cream cake is the best!!!

I would also like to give a shout out to Maria and Rebecca for hosting the office crew last week for a season kick-off barbeque at their condo. It was a fun time for all attending with a couple cool games and of course some Rock Band, which I am a stellar performer of Roxanne by the Police.

Well that is it for me folks. I can’t wait to see you again on the Verizon Center on Saturday, June 20 for our Dad’s and Daughters game. Remember to grab your tickets and enjoy the game with your dad or that special someone in your life.

Take care and GO MYSTICS!!!
Dana

Tuesday, June 16th - Vicky Bullett talks about coaching the 2009 Mystics team.

Hey Fans,

I hope everyone is happy about the start of the Mystics season, and of course I am honored to be a part of a new and improved organization.

I like to say that I am so grateful for the opportunity that was presented to me to be a part of the coaching staff. I have learned so much from Coaches Plank, Lacey and Luby that I ask Coach Plank if she would allow me to call a time out maybe in a game. I was just joking of course.

The Mystics Gals have been great and they all have wonderful attitudes, a great sense of humor, and they are all hungry to learn and get better. Our practices have been really intense and often I have to take a timeout and grab some water just to keep up.

The days in the office are long, but the work that the coaching staff puts in is so rewarding when the Mystics are prepared and perform well on the court. I can see that they enjoy the outcome but not as much as the staff as well as all you supporting fans.

So fans continue to root for the Mystics and remember to chant positive and encouraging words regardless of the outcome. WE LOVE YOU FANS, so keep your voices loud.

Take care all and we will see you soon,

Vicky Bullett

Monday, June 15th - Cassaundra Lockett introduces herself to the Mystics family.

Hello Mystics Fans,

(In my best Jay-Z impression) Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Cassaundra Lockett and I am the equipment manager for the Mystics. This is my 8th year working for the Mystics and first year as the Equipment Manager. I know a lot of people must be wondering what an equipment manager does. I am responsible for outfitting the girls in uniforms, practice apparel, shoes and providing any and everything the players/coaches need, doing laundry etc. Not only do I work for the Mystics, but I am also a first grade teacher at a charter school in SE Washington DC. We are currently wrapping up our last few days of school (2 to be exact). I am a native of Northeast Washington DC. I attended a great high school, Archbishop Carroll High School.

In these last few weeks we have seen three huge victories to put us in the top spot in the eastern conference. What an AMAZING start 3-0!! In all my years spent working for the Mystics there has never been a start like this!

As you can see, I cannot keep up with Natalia’s looooooong blog (Sorry Nat, LOL) so I will make mine short and sweet.

Shout-out to the SQUAD (Joey, Natalia and Mikhail), my intern Karess, Drew and my team attendants (Shelby, Andrea, Spencer, Kyle, Scott, Lisa, Chad, Tim and Wolf).

A special Happy Belated Birthday to Lindsey Harding and a Happy Birthday to Natalia Isaac (Boo-Yow!).

In the words of Chasity Melvin, “I love this game!”

Cassaundra

Friday, June 12th - Ketsia Colimon is all about 3-0 and mystics new media.

Hey Mystics fans,

Well, what could I possibly have to talk about? There is absolutely nothing going on around here these days. Same old same old, ya know? Kidding!!! Our office is buzzing with excitement and it has been so much fun to be a part of it. I know we are only 3-0 but if you have been around as long as I have (seven seasons!), you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement. In a couple more games I am going to send Greg my ring size. :)

Videos

Nothing has bought me more excitement besides a 3-0 start, than the work of our new media group. This group is creative, fun and young (I mean soooo young). Crystal Hudson mentioned that we are working out the technical difficulties but in the meantime please click http://www.wnba.com/mystics/multimedia/videos.html or look us up on You Tube at www.youtube.com/washingtonmystics to see what they have done so far. In addition, throughout the season, Frank Hanrahan and Christy Winters Scott will be hosting Mystics Corner Gameday prior to our games. They will bring you their thoughts on upcoming games as well as exclusive interview with players and coaches. Please check it out and let us know what you think of it or what you would like to see.

Sam Update

My little man is getting so tall. He is not gaining much weight or sleeping well at night, which is a concern to his parents, but he is very active and has his hands in all things little boys have their hands in.

Take care and as Coach Luby would say, "Peace out"!

Ketsia

Thursday, June 11th - Greg Bibb checks in.

I hope you enjoyed the 2009 season-opening weekend as much as I did. A big win at Connecticut followed by an exciting home victory vs. Atlanta got the team off to a 2-0 start for the first time in franchise history. More importantly, we are playing with passion, energy and a commitment to winning. We are young, athletic, versatile and deep. I think we are going to create some match-up problems for the opposition because we can present so many different looks. I don’t know how many games we’ll end up winning this year, but after a victory in Detroit on Wednesday night, we are off to a great start and we will be fun to watch, that’s for sure.

Oh What An Opener!

The day began with an awesome player introduction featuring lasers, smoke and a full-fledged runway. We started a new fan tradition. The team fell behind by 14, rallied and won by six. Most importantly, 11,759 fans were in attendance to enjoy it all. It was only one game, but it sure was fun. If you missed it, get your tickets for future Mystics games now. Verizon Center is going to be hopping this summer.

Founding Fans Ceremony

Prior to last Sunday’s home opener, we held a reception in honor of our Founding Fans. These are individuals who have been primary season ticket holders continually since the team’s inaugural 1998 season. After the reception, we unveiled the permanent Founding Fans tribute display located on the main concourse, behind section 102 and directly across from the Guest Services booth. Please take the time to check it out the next time you are at Verizon Center.

Dads & Daughters Day

The Mystics will be back at Verizon Center on Saturday, June 20 to host the Chicago Sky. The game will also mark the return of our popular Dads & Daughters Night where we celebrate the special relationship between fathers and their daughters. We are offering a special package right now that includes a ticket to the game on June 20, a voucher for our June 25 game vs. Phoenix and a special pass to come down on the court following the June 20 outing to shoot a free throw. Dads and Daughters will also be eligible to win free VIP tickets and a team autographed basketball. I will be bringing my daughter and if you are a Dad, I hope you will too.

Season Ticket Holder/Corporate Partner Open House

We had a great time hosting our first annual season ticket holder/corporate partner open house here in our offices last Thursday. Over 200 people toured our Verizon Center space, got a sneak peek at our new Event Level Club and enjoyed food and drink with the front office and the team. It was a fun evening of stories and camaraderie and we look forward to hosting similar events in the future.

WNBA LiveAccess

I know there have been some technical difficulties out of the gate with WNBA LiveAccess, but stick with it. This is a great piece of technology that delivers scores of WNBA games via your computer. If you haven’t registered for this free service, do it today. That way you can see the Mystics play in Atlanta on June 19.

Event Level Club

The Event Level Club debuted on opening day to a sell out crowd. In fact, six of our 17 2009 regular season games are now sold out. If you want to get in on the action, call your Mystics account executive today to reserve your spot…seats are filling up fast!

Quote of the Week

“A brave man will fall, but he cannot yield.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• I’m looking forward to game seven of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday night. I picked the Penguins at the start of the series and I’m sticking with Pittsburgh to win the Cup.
• How good are Tiger Woods and Roger Federer? Are we witnessing the best ever in their respective sports at the same time in history?
• Don’t forget, the WNBA All-Star Game is at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, July 25. You can visit www.connecticutsun.com for more information.
• Kudos to the LA Sparks for being the second WNBA team to secure a jersey sponsor. A special welcome to the League and thank you to Farmer’s Insurance.
• The official Candace Parker watch has begun…Parker was at the Sparks’ home opener over the weekend. My guess (and it is totally a guess) is you’ll see her back on the court within the next six weeks.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, June 10th - Crystal Hudson is still feeling high from the season’s home opener.

Home Opener

I am definitely still stuck in home opener mode. It was such an awesome game, that I’m still thinking about it three days later! The stands were packed, and the energy from the fans was uplifting (especially during the rough start of the game). Everyone seemed to be happy to spending such a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the Verizon Center with us!

The players and staff feed off of the energy from the fans, so please keep it up!

New Host, New Tradition

I am very excited to officially introduce our new game host, Audrey Hasson, to our Pass the Ball faithful. Audrey is a former collegiate athlete who is personally invested in women’s sports and promises to bring a new & unique vibe to all of our in-game promotions. Visit WashingtonMystics.com to learn more about her; and if you see her walking by your section, feel free to say hello!

In addition to a new host, we also introduced a new tradition at Sunday’s home opener. We are asking the fans to stand from tip-off until our first basket is made. We want the atmosphere during a Mystics game to be the absolute best it can be, but we need your help to keep this tradition alive. So on June 20th, don’t forget to get on your feet and cheer as loud as you can for your favorite WNBA team!!

Mystics TV

We are working diligently to bring you exclusive video content; from our new pre-game show with Frank Hanrahan & Christy Winters-Scott to behind-the-scenes interviews with players and coaches. Our videos will soon be available on WashingtonMystics.com, but you can check them out at YouTube.com/washingtonmystics until then. Happy viewing!

I look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday, June 20th when we celebrate Dads & Daughters Night!

Crystal

Tuesday, June 9th - Luby Lichonczak talks about the season thus far.

Hello Mystics FANS!!!! This is Coach Luby. AKA Lubomyr Lichonczak. It may seem like an unusual name but Lubomyr is a very typical Ukrainian name. It was great to see the support we had the other day :) What a great start; 2-0 in the regular season, the best start in Mystics history.

This is just such a thrill for me to be a part of the beginning of what will be a great head coaching career for Coach Plank. You may or may not know that I had the privilege of coaching Julie when she was a player at The Ohio State University and yes “The” is a part of the official title. She as you would guess was a great competitor and this is evident in her coaching style. Our team has picked up on this and has embraced her energetic spirit and it shows on the court. As an educator and as a coach, the greatest thrills you have are for your students and players and their achievements. It is with great pride that I watch Julie work and see what she has become. As a matter of fact I’m casting my ballot for Coach of the Year for Coach Julie Plank of the Washington Mystics. I know her Dad would be so proud of her.

When I interviewed with Angela Taylor, our GM, we talked about how we both believe that you win with people. This is definitely the case with the Mystics. It starts at the top with Dr. Johnson, our COO Greg Bibb and his entire staff, Angela, Julie, my fellow assistants Vicky and Trudi, and last but not least the SQUAD!!!! The squad is our basketball ops. organization. They are just tremendous, that is an understatement. Without their help I know I would be lost.

The photo that you see is from our first game up in New York, at the Garden. What an experience!!! My first time in the Garden and coaching a WNBA game with my fellow assistants and new friends, Trudi and Vicky. A special thank you to all of the Mystics staff that got on that 4:00 AM bus to come up to the Big Apple to watch us play. The highlight I heard was the vertical that Sheila Robinson, our office administrator, displayed on one of our great plays. The coup de grace was that my beautiful Maryann was able to make the trip up to be there to share that with me.

We all know that there is a long way to go and that there will be some highs and lows. The journey is just starting but it feels good. The players can see that this is different, we have a plan, we will improve each and every day and with that anything is possible.

Until next time, peace out!
Luby

Monday, June 8th - Maria Giovannetti talks about the Mystics’ exciting weekend.

Hey Mystics Fans! What a weekend! We got two great wins against two quality teams. It’s an exciting time to be a Mystics fan! For all of you who did not attend the home opener, be disappointed that you missed it. We had an awesome opening video, started a new tradition at the Verizon Center (standing up from tip off until the first bucket is scored), unveiled our new courtside party zone, and, of course, got the WIN. The energy in the building was awesome and it was excited to see some new faces on the court wearing Mystics blue. I enjoyed catching up with all of my old Mystics friends as well as meeting many new Mystics fans in the crowd yesterday.

My favorite moment from the home opener occurred before the game even started. I brought a little girl to come down onto the court to give the Mystics high fives and stay on the court to watch a little bit of pre-game warm ups. She had told me before that she was a huge fan and had followed many of our players in college and into the professional ranks. She was so excited to be there and see our players up close that she started crying and thanked me over and over again. She made my day and I was proud of our organization and our players for being there as responsible, positive and powerful role models for the young women and men in our community.

Thank you to all of you who came out yesterday to support us in our home opener! After this past weekend, I think all of you see that we have worked extremely hard in the off season to build our organization both on and off the court. As Mystics General Manager Angela Taylor said in an e-mail to all of us this morning, “This is just the beginning!” We have a great thing going here in Washington, DC. We welcome you and ALL of your friends to the Verizon Center to be a part of the family.

Maria

Friday, June 5th - Nicole Boden looks forward to the season.

Hello Mystics fans. It’s my turn to check back in.

As you read this we will be two days away from opening night. It has been a crazy, busy, exciting off-season and I’m ready for the season to get started again.

I must say that the enthusiasm and the energy from the team right now is so contagious and I am very excited to see how we do this season. I know that we are going to surprise some people and really make a statement.

In my role here in Community Relations, I get to spend some quality time with the players mostly on our way to appearances. Last week, Marissa and I spent about two long hours in a car together on our way to Rockville for an appearance. Most of the time was spent in traffic and let me just tell you there was never a dull moment. She would sing, text and drive all at the same time. I was so scared and I saw my life flash before my eyes a couple of times. Who knew she liked country music so much? She would put a song on and start singing and ask me if I knew the words… um no, I never listen to country but most of the songs I actually liked.

I’m not sure if I should tell everyone but after the appearance we stopped at a Krispy Kreme. We went through the Krispy Kreme drive thru. I never even knew there was a Krispy Kreme drive thru. I don’t really like donuts but apparently the red light was on which means the donuts are hot so we just had to go. I won’t give too much away but let’s just say the donuts were not exactly hot and some words were exchanged with the teller and she slammed the window on us. I will say that Marissa was both patient and calm and this woman was clearly having a bad day.

So Mystics fans, I can’t wait for the game on Sunday. I know by then we’ll be 2-0 baby!!

See you at the game,
Nicole

Thursday, June 4th - Greg Bibb checks in.

We are just two days away from the official start of the 2009 season with a road date at Connecticut on Saturday, June 6 and three days away from our home opener at Verizon Center on Sunday, June 7. It has been a long off-season that has delivered much change, but now it’s time to keep score because it all counts. We are really excited about the direction of our team and what the 2009 season may hold for our organization. The time for talk is over. Now it’s time to walk the walk. Here’s what’s on my mind this fourth day of June, 2009.

School Day Success

We held our first annual School Day Game last Thursday, and I must say, I think it was a resounding success. Over 2,500 students from area schools were on hand to watch us beat the New York Liberty, 74-56. Along with a great team performance, those in attendance had the opportunity to visit concourse tables operated by educational-focused organizations and see a special science-themed halftime performance. In addition, each student received a customized Mystics workbook to compliment their game experience. It was a great day and we look forward to hosting the second edition of this unique program next season.

MYSL Community Day

The first annual Mystics Youth Summer League Community Day was held at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center on Saturday. The event, presented in conjunction with the Greater Washington Sports Alliance and DC Parks & Recreation, was a blast! The day was filled with fun, food and games as well as a special basketball clinic and autograph session featuring the entire Mystics roster. My thanks to the team, the sports alliance, DC Parks & Rec. and all of the volunteers who helped nearly 500 children enjoy a great day on the court.

MVK All-Star Day

I had the chance to participate in the Most Valuable Kids All-Star Day at the Bullis School in Potomac, MD on Sunday. This event, which benefits underserved and underprivileged area youth, was a huge success. There were games, inflatables, plenty of food and one of the best sports auctions I have seen. If you haven’t gotten involved with MVK, what are you waiting for…check them out at mostvaluablekids.org.

WNBA LiveAccess

If you can’t make it to Connecticut on Saturday, be sure to tune into the game on WNBA LiveAccess on washingtonmystics.com. This free new service provides fans with live access to video streams of most 2009 WNBA regular season games, including Saturday’s opener at Connecticut. Don’t miss it.

Event Level Club

If you are coming to the game on Sunday, be sure to check out the scene in our new Event Level Club. Our friends at Geico have rented out the Club for the first game and I’m sure they will be having a great time enjoying the new space and good food. Thanks Geico. Tickets for future games, including our June 20 tilt vs. Chicago, are now available. Contact your favorite Mystics sales representative to reserve your spot in this cool space.

June Birthdays

Just one June birthday among the Mystics staffers…Natalia Isaac, basketball operations coordinator, will celebrate her special day on June 15. Happy Birthday, Natalia.

Quote of the Week

“Fulfillment is achieving your desires; the thrill is getting there.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• As much as I don’t like it, I think the Lakers will bring home another NBA Championship, in six games, vs. Orlando.
• I’m sticking with the Penguins to win the Stanley Cup.
• Congratulations to the Phoenix Mercury and LifeLock for their groundbreaking partnership. These two outstanding organizations have forged a new path for the WNBA and the League’s member clubs.
• Heading to Connecticut for the season opener…if you are a Mystics fan and you are going to be at the game, let me know.
• If you haven’t gotten your tickets to the home opener yet, what are you waiting for????

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, June 3rd - Tim Gallant is nervous. Read all about it.

Hey Mystics Fans,

There is a lot to do around the office today, so unfortunately I must make this blog rather brief. I did want to let you know how nervous/excited I am about the start of our season. I can not just look at the Mystics first game from a fans perspective because I have put so much time and effort into making each game as perfect as possible for you the fans. Each and everyday I have conversations about the team outlook, and which players will contribute this year with you the fans, especially Mr. Matthews who is a very knowledgeable Season Ticket Holder! So it is with that notion that I anxiously await the tip of the season and hopefully the Mystics start out strong. I have full confidence that Ms. Plank and Ms. Taylor will lead the team to new and great heights starting this year and continuing into the future. Go Mystics!

On a side note, thanks to all my Season Ticket Holders and 6pack Holders who are the best fans an Account Representative could ask for. I hope to see all of you on Sunday!

Best,
Tim

Tuesday, June 2nd - Angela Taylor gets ready for the 09 mystics season.

Hey Mystics Fans,

103 hours and counting until our season opener versus the Connecticut Sun!

After months of preparation, meetings, scouting, more meetings, and practice the time has almost arrived for us to play our first game of the 2009 season. We are very pleased with the effort that has been given throughout camp & are excited about the improvement we have seen on a daily basis. We will definitely have some difficult decisions to make as the week moves along.

In the midst of a very intense week of training camp, the players & coaches took some time to interact with kids at the first annual Mystics Youth Summer League Community Day at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center last Saturday. The event was a huge success. Dr. Johnson was serving hot dogs, the players were teaching stations, and Coach Plank organized a game of Clump. It’s so rewarding to know that we all have the opportunity to impact lives & make a difference just by taking the time. We really have a wonderful group of young women competing to make our final roster, and that was reinforced as I was able to watch them interact with the kids on Saturday. I’m so proud to be a part of the Mystics family.

Speaking of family, I have often mentioned how supportive my family has been throughout my athletic career, so I can’t wait for them to be able to visit DC to experience the excitement around this organization. Two of my sports heroes have been my older brothers, Greg & Gary. Both of them inspired me with their hard work & encouraged me to follow my dreams. They both have had a huge imprint on many of the things I have been able to experience throughout my life, so when one of my older brothers (Gary) called to tell me he will be in town for our home opener on Sunday, I grew even more excited about this weekend. Gary put up with my tagging along with him & his buddies for years (including following him to college at Stanford), so I am absolutely thrilled that he will be able to watch our first game this weekend.

I’d like to congratulate the Phoenix Mercury and LifeLock on their ground-breaking new partnership. It is wonderful that an industry leader such as LifeLock has made the commitment to the WNBA and its fans for the long-term. I look forward to seeing other forward-thinking organizations following LifeLock’s lead & supporting the best women’s professional league in the world.

Well, I look forward to seeing a packed Verizon Center on Sunday as we play our home opener against the Atlanta Dream. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, what are you waiting for???

Until next time….

Go Mystics,
Angela

Monday, June 1st - Rebecca Hunt shares her hiking adventures!

Hi Mystics fans! Happy Monday. I hope everyone had a great weekend and got outside.

Saturday the Mystics/Greater Washington Sports Alliance/DC Parks & Rec hosted a Community Day at the Turkey Thicket Rec Center in Northeast DC. It was a great event attended by the whole team and several Mystics front office staff. We are getting ready to launch our second annual Mystics Youth Summer league, a basketball league for girls in DC and the event Saturday was a great way to get some more girls signed up! For more information contact Maria Giovannetti at mgiovannetti@washmystics.com.

Saturday night I went to the movies to see Angels & Demons, I did not think it was nearly as good as the book. After the movies I hosted a cookout at my apartment for some friends, the night ended quickly when we realized the tow trucks were out in my complex and started to tow away my friends cars!

Sunday a few of us loaded up a friend’s jeep (top off!) and headed to Calvert Cliffs State Park in Maryland. We hiked the two miles to the beach, laid out our blankets and relaxed. We ate our pinic lunch, explored the cliffs and then hiked back. It was a great afternoon and only about an hour and a half away from Arlington. I hope to get back there a few more times this summer.

Hope everyone is getting excited for the Home Opener on Sunday, June 7th at 4pm vs. the Atlanta Dream. See yall there!

Mystics basketball, as real as it gets.