May 2009

Friday, May 29th - Mike Ragan is excited to get the 2009 season underway.

Hey Mystics Fans- hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! I got to head down to the beach for a few days…it was mostly a washout but I managed to “convince” my sister to come down and bring my nephew so it made the cold beach days a little more fun! It was the first time he actually ran up to the water! Usually the run up was followed by a fake out and a mad dash back to mommy and daddy….this time, my boy went all the way in! He is growing up way to fast for me…Jen and I also got to have a nice dinner at a place called Macky’s, table was actually in the sand, right down by the water…nice night!

Well its finally here…the home part of our season started yesterday with a BIG WIN against New York. I saw that many of you managed to “sneak away” for the game to see the new look Mystics. I know everyone will be out here for the opener! Please bring family, friends, acquaintances, people you meet on the street, mailman etc…we want the place packed!

Things I am excited about:

  • Seeing all of you in the building again- its been too long!
  • The rain going away
  • New Dave Matthews Band CD- out June 2nd
  • I Have a suite with 20 of my friends Saturday night for an O’s game

    Things I am not excited about:

  • A repeat Stanley Cup Final
  • An Orlando-Denver NBA Final (don’t we all want to see Kobe/Lebron?)

    Before I go, I wanted to mention our new All Inclusive courtside club which will debut on Opening Night…if you are planning a party or event this is the way to go…for only $75 you get a private courtside area with all you can eat and drink ( yes that includes alcohol!!) from doors open until halftime! This will be the hottest thing in our building this year, (besides the team!!) and already looks to be sold out for the June games…area seats 58 people so if you are interested, shoot me a call at 202-527 7509 or contact your sales rep. See all of you soon and as always, Go Mystics!

    Mike

    Thursday, May 28th - Greb Bibb checks in.

    Today we host the New York Liberty in our second pre-season game of the year and our first tilt of the campaign at Verizon Center. As you know by now, we dropped a 77-71 decision to the Liberty at Madison Square Garden last Thursday. Despite the loss, I thought there were plenty of positives for the Mystics. First, I’m really excited about Lindsey Harding. I think she gives us another dimension at the point guard position that we have not had in some time. When you add either Nikki Blue or Keisha Brown to the rotation, I think we are going to be very solid at the point. I also thought Nakia Sanford played a huge game. If we can get an effort like the one we got from Nakia last Thursday every time out, we are going to be in good shape. Finally, I thought our two youngsters from Maryland played well. Sophomore Crystal Langhorne put in 15 points and freshman Marissa Coleman played over 27 minutes and chipped in seven points while earning time at both the two-guard and small forward positions.

    I’m excited to see how we do today here in the District. We are hosting our first annual School Day Game, so tip-off is at 11:30am. I hope you all can make it downtown for our one and only pre-season home game.

    Congratulations Hershey Bears!

    The Hershey Bears, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the Washington Capitals, defeated the Providence Bruins, four games to one in the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals to advance to the Calder Cup Finals for the third time in the last four years.

    I grew up in Hershey and didn’t miss a game through my childhood. My dad took me to old Hersheypark Arena for the first time as an infant and many of my fondest childhood memories are associated with the “old barn.” Whether it was sneaking media notes from the press box or playing youth hockey on the same ice as my boyhood heroes, the Hershey Bears are synonymous with my early years. My passion for sports was born with the Bears and I wish them well against the Manitoba Moose as they chase another Calder Cup!

    The Capitals-Bear affiliation has turned out to be as close to perfect as two organizations could ever hope. Hershey has been the best team in the AHL over the past four years and has proven to be an excellent place for the Capitals to develop their outstanding young talent. In fact, many of the Caps current stars were wearing Hershey maroon and white just a few years ago.

    If you have the chance, take a day trip to Hershey and catch a Bears game sometime, it’s worth the two hour drive.

    Memorial Day Weekend

    Adelyn, Tara and I had a great Memorial Day Weekend. We started our journey north with a stop in Baltimore on Saturday to see one of Tara’s best friends, Melanie, and her sister, Marian. Melanie was in town from Los Angeles visiting family and Adelyn really enjoyed meeting her for the first time. We had a great few hours together before heading to PA for the balance of the weekend.

    While back home, Adelyn made her normal rounds, seeing five grandparents, three great-grandparents, two uncles and a host of friends. We enjoyed a few barbecues and spending quality time with the family. Of course, there was plenty of ice cream from the family store, Bruster’s, with Addy eating her fair share. Hopefully, we’ll get home again in the near future so Adelyn can spend time with all of Pop’s dogs, who are very, very patient creatures when it comes to a little one.

    Quote of the Week

    “Never tell people how to do things; instead tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

    Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

    • I’m picking the Penguins to down Detroit in six games to win the Stanley Cup.

    • Congrats to the Marist College baseball team, 2009 MAAC Champions.

    • Did anyone catch the Cornell-Syracuse NCAA Lacrosse Championship Game…great drama with an amazing finish and another Syracuse trophy.

    • Remember, the Most Valuable Kids All-Star Day carnival is Sunday from 3pm-6pm at the Bullis School in Potomac, MD. Come on out and support a great cause.

    • Just 10 days until the 2009 regular season home opener!

    Until next time,

    Go Mystics!

    Wednesday, May 27th - Chris Waldmann talks Mystics, NBA officiating, and steals from Greg!

    Hello again Mystics Fans,

    Hmmm…what could I possibly write about today? Maybe that our first home pre-season game is tomorrow and that the regular season tips off in just 10 days! That’s right fans; the season is finally upon us. The off-season in WNBA land is a long one, but by making changes and keeping up our efforts we’ve come out of it fresh and ready to go. I’ve been able to check out a few of Coach Plank’s practices, and the reports you’ve seen aren’t lying, Coach is running these ladies around hard. The team looks focused on the task at hand, and I think it’s only a matter of time until things really start clicking. As with any team that has added as many new faces as we have, its best to remain realistic, this will take some time to all come together, but I really believe we’ve laid out some really solid groundwork to start turning this thing around!

    Alright, on to other things I’m thinking today. I don’t know how many of you have been following the never-ending story that is the NBA playoffs, but for those who haven’t, you’re missing some great basketball. The parity in the league is really showing as the “underdogs” have been putting up a fight. Last night’s Magic/Cavs game was another nail-biter filled with high tension and great shot making. Unfortunately, the league is doing their best to shoot themselves in the foot with their inabilities and inconsistencies with the refs. I can’t remember seeing so many technical fouls ever. And now that we’re in the conference finals I feel like we could use the whistle a little less, especially in the fourth quarter. Now, I’m not condoning elbows to the face, pushing people in mid-air, or going out of your way to trip someone (yeah I’m talking to you Dahntey Jones) but let these guys play, its really unfortunate when you watch 47 minutes of a game and the refs change everything in the 48th. By the way, we were all almost “witness” to a Magic sweep of the over-hyped Cavs sans Le Shot from LeBron (that was an incredible shot though, I gotta give him that!)

    Now, in an effort to directly steal from Greg Bibb…

    My Five Random Thoughts for Today:

    1. The Nike MVPuppets commercials are the best commercials I’ve seen all year…UNSTOPPABLE!
    2. Matt Wieters will make his MLB debut in Baltimore on Friday. If you don’t know who he is, google him, he could save the O’s.
    3. The Lakers will win the NBA championship.
    4. I really want to see The Hangover when it comes out in June, it looks hilarious!
    5. It’s almost June and David Ortiz has one homerun…where have you gone Big Papi?

    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

    Mystics 2009: As Real As It Gets!

    Chris

    Tuesday, May 26th - Trudi Lacey joins the Mystics blogging family.

    The Dog Squad

    I have never been around a team that had so many dog lovers! I love that! I am a dog lover myself. I had a black lab for 12 years named FREETHROW and she was the best, most loyal companion that I have ever known. She died about three years ago and it was tough to get over.

    I finally got a little schnauzer, I named him Scout (because that’s all I do is scout teams, players, etc). He thinks he is a big dog. When I first got him, he would bark at me, run away from home and he even bit me twice. Over time, we bonded and now he likes to cuddle with me. He instinctively knows when I am down and if I need a little extra attention. (Wouldn’t it be great if humans were that in tune with each other?) Scout and I have become a team and teamwork takes time!

    As I began getting to know our team, I discovered that almost every one on the team had a dog! The dogs range from big to small and they have all sorts of names…Mikey, Biggie, Mr .Sawyer, Sleepy, Boston, Hen and many more.

    I like the idea that we are like a pack of dogs. With dogs they have personality, they usually run in a “PACK” and they trust each other. I envision as much for our team this year. Our ALPHA dog, Coach Plank is providing great leadership, intensity and passion. Our players are playing together and with great passion. WE ARE A PACK and we want to be BIG DOGS in the EAST this summer.

    We are committed to being the best we can be together and to doing all the little things to succeed. Loyalty in the little things is a GREAT thing, just like our dogs.

    Trudi

    Monday, May 25th - Memorial Day.

    Friday, May 22nd - Sheila Robinson talks traveling to New York City.

    Well fans, I am back again! Our front office staff went to New York yesterday to support the Mystics. It was a beautiful day for travel. We started early, 5 a.m. to be exact. As we got closer to the Garden, we experienced "GPS" gone wild. Our driver was being let down by his GPS system, thus having us turn around twice. With the help of one of the staff, we were finally on the right track. Thank you, Dana. Gametime was at 11:00, so we had more than enough time.

    Although it's an exhibition game, we wanted to cheer the ladies on. This is an exciting time, we are in season and it's game time. That's it for now. This is as real as it gets!

    Go Mystics!

    Sheila Robinson

    Thursday, May 21st - Greg Bibb checks in.

    We head to New York City today to open our pre-season schedule against the New York Liberty. I’m really excited to see our team perform against an opponent for the first time this year, even though it is a pre-season game. While the final score won’t matter and one pre-season game never provides a complete picture of what is in store for your team, it is still nice to watch the players take the floor and compete after months of preparation. Here are some other topics on my mind this 21st day of May, 2009.

    Training Camp Thoughts

    Training camp opened on Sunday and I’ve been very impressed with what I have seen so far. The energy level has been great. The enthusiasm for the new season is apparent. Most importantly, I think everyone is on the same page as far as where we want to go and how we are going to get there. The organization of the staff as well as the preparedness of the coaches has been impressive. We are only a few days into camp, but I really feel good about our direction. I don’t know how many games we will win in 2009, but I can guarantee you we will compete every time out and we will be ready to play, no matter who the opponent happens to be.

    I can also assure you we will be very fit and will look to own the fourth quarter. Our new strength and conditioning coach, Lisa Ciaravella, has introduced a wonderful program to make sure our athletes can compete at their optimal level.

    A few other quick notes from the first few days of camp…

    • Watching Vicky Bullet work with our post players has been a treat. I think our interior defense will be much improved in 2009. Along with assistant coach Luby Lichonczak, our “bigs” are receiving great instruction, which should pay dividends when we start keeping score.
    • Team chemistry seems to be really good. I think we have a great group ready to compete and win.
    • Head Coach Julie Plank is a meticulous planner. Practice is crisp, focused and productive. She sets the tone and everyone has quickly learned to follow her lead.
    • Assistant Coach Trudi Lacey brings a consistent positive vibe that is very contagious. I think she is going to be invaluable when the team faces challenges during the season.
    • GM Angela Taylor has done a wonderful job of building a first class support staff. This group is young, talented and extraordinarily hard working. They do all the little things that help the team achieve positive results on game days.

    Again, we are just a few days into camp, so I’m trying to guard my optimism. But, it’s hard. I think we are in for an exciting season.

    Pre-Season Tilt vs. New York

    While we head to New York today to face the Liberty, it is important to remember that we are just one week away from our one and only home pre-season game of the year. The Mystics host the Liberty at Verizon Center on Thursday, May 28. The game will serve as our first annual “School Day Game” and will have a special 11:30am tip-off. We hope to see you here next Thursday.

    Coco Update

    Coco Miller has been signed by the Atlanta Dream. This is great news on two fronts. First, it takes Coco back to Georgia where she starred in college as a University of Georgia Bulldog. Second, it brings #9 back to the Verizon Center for our home opener when we host Atlanta on June 7. Get your tickets now if you want to welcome Coco back to town.

    Lisa Leslie’s Last Trip to Verizon Center

    Lisa Leslie will make her final regular season appearance at Verizon Center on Saturday, July 11 when the Mystics host the LA Sparks. We are planning a special tribute to one of women’s basketball true pioneers. Make sure you are here for this historic night as it promises to be truly special. Game time is 7pm with a pre-game ceremony for Lisa just before tip-off.

    Congratulations Candace Parker!

    By now I’m sure you heard…Candace Parker and her husband Shelden Williams welcomed a little girl into the world last week. The Mystics wish the new family well and can’t wait to see the new mom back on the court. Congratulations Candace!

    Quote of the Week

    “Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.”

    Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

    • I picking the Denver Nuggets to upset the favored LA Lakers in the NBA Western Conference Finals.
    • I see a Pittsburgh-Detroit Stanley Cup Finals rematch from a year ago.
    • Despite not having Manny in the line-up, the Dodgers continue to pace the NL West…it is a World Series year for the Boys of Summer.
    • Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and please take time to remember all of those who have served our country and lost their lives to ensure our freedom.
    • Just 17 days until the 2009 regular season home opener!

    Until next time,

    Go Mystics!

    Wednesday, May 20th - Marty Lerner shares the upcoming highlights of her world.

    Hi Mystics Fans! The last time I blogged we were still wondering who our #2 pick is going to be. Since picking Marissa Coleman, so much has transpired in the front office.

    Here are my highlights today.

    • I want to welcome our newest partners: ExxonMobil, Cowgirl Creamery, Nike, Corcoran Vineyards, Asia Nine, and Cavalier Telephone. I also can’t forget the partners who have renewed with us: Amtrak, Kindercare, Salamander, CareFirst, RLJ Development, Pitney Bowes and Turner.

    • Thanks to the folks at Fairfax County Government Center for allowing us to participate in the Girl Power Conference 2009. Congratulations on 10 years of success in your Substance Abuse/Prevention program.

    • Representatives from our corporate partner, Pitney Bowes, toured the Verizon Center during the annual industry conference, the National Postal Forum. Pitney Bowes will again be presenting sponsor of the Fast Break to Reading program. In conjunction with Arlington Public Libraries, we will be highlighting the importance of literacy and challenging local children to read more.

    • Our microsite, HoopsNHeels.com, went live to rave reviews. Want to find out more about what our players are doing off the court? Check out the site and bookmark it.

    • Did you know that you’ll be able to see 32 of our games live on our website? Check out LiveAccess on game days to see the Mystics in action.

    • Thanks again to our friends at Asia Nine for providing lunch for the staff!

    • While opening day is a mere two weeks away, the weekend promises to be a busy one for the Lerners. Our little girl, Alexa, is graduating kindergarten on June 5th, a dance recital on June 6th and our home opener is June 7th! Whew….I’m tired already!

    Have you bought your season tickets yet? Don’t miss out on all the fun. Whether you’re a Girl Scout, celebrating a birthday, entertaining clients and employees or searching for indoor family fun (away from the typical heat of D.C. summers) you don’t have to look very far ---- As Real as it Gets. Look forward to seeing you soon!!!

    GO MYSTICS!

    Tuesday, May 19th - Tim Gallant talks about beach etiquette.

    Hello Mystics fans,

    It certainly has been a long time since I have graced this blog, and hopefully you eagerly sat there morning after morning hoping, praying, wishing that Tim Gallant’s name would come up on the screen. Well, your wish has been granted!

    I thought I would write about going to the beach, seeing how it is such a hot topic! Ha Ha. Seriously, I love the beach, you love the beach, even the old people love the beach. But if you’re a scrawny young lad like myself, with the beach comes the pressure. There is no place on earth where you will be judged by your outer appearance more than when you head to the sand trap. And if your not built like the California Governor, that can mean trouble. But I have a surviving the beach guide if you’re not built and don’t have a legit tan like me but still want to feel as though you belong. And here it is:

    1. If you are good at throwing the football, or Frisbee don’t be afraid to show off your skills. It may validate your reason for taking up precious space on the sand, and get you some needed bonus points with those around you.

    2. Wear some sun block. There is nothing worse than being “that guy” who looks like he belongs on a plate, next to the butter sauce and crackers at Red Lobster.

    3. Don’t go into the water with a T-Shirt on. Unless there is a medical reason, or you are very self-conscious, I promise you will draw more attention with the shirt, than without it. And it certainly won’t be the type of attention we’re looking to get.

    4. Don’t drink in excess. The only thing worse than being the Red Lobster guy, is the “I’m so drunk I might do just about anything on this beach” guy.

    5. If you are just looking to get some sun, place a big book on your lap. It will catch the attention of some damsel, and when it does, just talk about how you are a successful editor with Random House and unfortunately this is the 10th book you are reading today, and all you really want is a nice jump in the hot tub. The situation can take two turns here, but keep cool under that blazing sun, and you may just catch a number.

    If you follow these rules, you will navigate the beach and look like a seasoned pro, meaning more attractive glances in your direction.

    And when you’re not at the beach, you had better be at the Verizon Center for the Mystics games; Payment for my advice is simple. Come to as many games as you possibly can, and I will consider that payment enough.

    Tim

    Monday, May 18th - Sarah Novak shares her fun-filled weekend.

    Hello All,

    It is that time again for me to Blog!

    This past weekend was full of events for me. I started Friday night out with my coworkers enjoying the nice weather for a happy hour, which was great. Being outside was the best especially after all of the rain that we have been getting. It truly felt like spring in DC on Friday. Then it was off to one of my friend’s birthday parties. Julie Boling was turning the big 25! It was a great night for her. The main event over this past weekend was the DC 101 Chili Cook-off! I went with my friends Cari, Rachael and Josh. We metroed down to RFK stadium and we all were very excited about the bands that were performing. Especially Offspring and Third Eye Blind, both bands haven’t put out an album in ages. I have also realized that I am not as young as I use to be. In my early 20s I use to crowd surf with the best of them. Now in my late 20s, I was staying as far away from that craziness as I possibly could. On top of that my friend Cari got her nose pierced at the concert. She had been thinking and talking about doing it for as long as I can remember. She did it! It looks so cute on her nose. Just a little sparkle!

    Sunday I woke up and decided I would get an early start on grocery shopping. So recently I just moved so I am at a new shopping market. I am in my usual Sunday mode shopping with a hat, sunglasses and hair pulled back. I was approached by two of our very own season ticket holders. Who would have known?! They were very excited and I was a little shocked that they knew who I was since I was not being in business attire. It was good to see first hand our fans, one of which was in a Mystics T-Shirt, so excited about this year. It really makes up for all of the hard work that we have been putting in this off season.

    As may of you know I am coordinating our Women2Women program of the Mystics. This is a great program that enables women that are in business or running their own businesses to network together and support each other while supporting the Mystics. Check out our W2W members on our micro site, http://www.hoopsnheels.com, under the “make friends” category. If you would like to hear more about this program please just give me a call.

    Until next time,
    Sarah

    Friday, May 15th - Allow Will Woldenberg to introduce himself.

    Hi Mystics Fans!

    We’re coming up on my first full month in Washington, DC and I love this town! I’m a newcomer to the DC area and love the mixture of Southern weather with a busy city. DC reminds me of a perfected version of Atlanta; a city with better public transportation, a vibrant artistic community, and a real nightlife!

    I should probably tell you a little bit about myself. So here are a few quick facts about me:

    • I’ve now lived in 9 different states- California, Alabama, Connecticut, New York, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, New Jersey, and now Virginia!
    • I’m a middle child and have two sisters, aged 30 and 13!
    • I graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans in 2007 with a triple major in English, History, and Creative Writing.
    • I’ve taken martial arts for nearly 10 years!
    • I’m a Second Lieutenant in the Army National Guard.
    • My favorite basketball players are Chris Paul and Alana Beard.
    • I’m a professionally trained singer who has played in bands since I was 15!

    I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Washington Mystics family and can’t wait for the season to kick off here at the Verizon Center on June 7th against Atlanta! If you have any questions for me, please email me at wwoldenberg@washmystics.com or call me at (202) 527-7507.

    Thanks to everyone for welcoming me so quickly to the family and I can’t wait to see everyone out at the games! Go Mystics!

    Will Woldenberg
    Account Executive

    Thursday, May 14th - Greg Bibb checks in.

    Welcome to training camp week! The 2009 season officially tips-off with the start of training camp on Sunday and I’m excited. I really feel good about the structure and organization that has been implemented by our GM Angela Taylor and our Head Coach Julie Plank. The entire basketball operations staff is in place and most of the players are in town, so it is time to play some ball. Here’s what’s on my mind this 14th day of May, 2009.

    Thank you, Coco

    One of the tougher parts of this business is when you have to say goodbye to a player who is a great person and who has done so much good for your organization. Unfortunately, that took place here in Washington on Monday as the team released long-time guard Coco Miller. While I have only been with the Mystics for a little over a year and a half, I quickly learned what Coco meant to our team. She is the consummate professional who always was prepared to play, always did the little things necessary to help the team and always provided leadership by example.

    As a front office executive you wish you could keep players like Coco Miller forever, but as we know, nothing is forever. Our roster is deep on the perimeter and we are thin in the post. Thus, a move had to be made.

    Coco is a quality player who will no doubt find a spot with another team for 2009. While it will be strange to see her in a different uniform, I wish her the best and hope she finds a good situation where she can continue to prosper and grow.

    Welcome, Kelly

    When one door closes, another opens…the departure of Coco Miller allowed us to add veteran post Kelly Schumacher to the roster. Kelly comes to the Mystics after being a first round selection (14th overall) in the 2001 WNBA draft. A University of Connecticut product, Kelly won an NCAA Championship with the Huskies in 2000. She has averaged 5.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per game during her WNBA career with stops in Indiana, New York, Phoenix and Detroit prior to her arrival in Washington. Welcome, Kelly.

    Hoops N Heels Now Live

    Check out our brand new website, hoopsnheels.com. Here you can get all the latest Mystics news and insights directly from our players. If you are looking for a recipe, we got it. How about a favorite team hang-out? That’s here too. If you are looking for the inside scoop on our players and their likes and dislikes, as well as a great place to digitally socialize with other WNBA fans, this is the site for you.

    A Busy Weekend

    Adelyn, Tara and I had a busy Saturday and Sunday this past week. Saturday brought a trip to Harrisonburg, VA for the graduation of Tara’s cousin, Elise. Elise is now a graduate of Tara’s alma mater, James Madison University. Thus, another Duke Dog alum has been added to the family. Of course, I explained to Adelyn that she will not be continuing this tradition, instead she will add to her father’s legacy at Marist College. Why be a Duke Dog when you can be a Red Fox?

    Despite nearly six hours of car travel on Saturday, we hopped back on the road Sunday morning to meet my mom and dad and Tara’s mom in Gettysburg, PA at Boyds Bear Country. If you haven’t been to Boyds, it is a great place to take children as they can make their own teddy bear, play in a “bear nursery” and visit a “stuffed dog kennel.” Needless to say, Adelyn had a blast and really enjoyed spending Mother’s Day with her grandparents. Of course, I also really appreciate living so close to family so I can see my mom on Mother’s Day as well. To have my mom, my wife, my daughter and my mother-in-law together on this day was special. Having my dad there so I wasn’t completely outnumbered was a nice bonus. A great time was had by all.

    Quote of the Week

    “The best way out is always through.”

    Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

    • Manny, Manny…I was feeling so good about the Dodgers’ chances this summer.
    • How about those Boston Celtics…playing without KG, the Celts look poised to advance to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
    • If you are looking for something to do on May 31, check out the Most Valuable Kids All-Star Day. More information on this awesome carnival for a great cause can be found at mostvaluablekids.org.
    • Good luck to the Wizards in the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery.
    • One week from today, the Mystics play pre-season game #1 at New York; just two weeks from today, Mystics basketball returns to Verizon Center with a second pre-season tilt vs. the Liberty.

    Until next time,

    Go Mystics!

    Wednesday, May 13th - Eboni Tyler is excited about the upcoming Mystics season.

    Hey Mystics Fans,

    The WNBA season is here. We are LOOKING GREAT! FEELING GREAT! And EXPECTING GREAT! I believe that we are going to be the best we have been in a long time. I know that you are probably saying “Eboni how many times are you going to say that?”. But I can’t help it! I feel it! The feeling in the office is different than before. We have come so far and haven’t really hit our mark yet. This is the year my gut tells me things are about to change. I am so Excited!

    Wow! Just think about our coaching staff. They have made some really easy and some really tough decisions adding and trading some great women athletes. But if you take a look at the ladies that are going to training camp, you will see like me that the caliber of talent that our coaching staff has put together in the short time that they have been here is quite astonishing. We have Matee Ajavon, Lindsey Harding, Chasity Melvin (Is Back!), Alana Beard, Monique Currie, and the addition of Marissa Coleman just to name a few. Man, that is some BIG names with HUGE talent. That has inspired me to talk about the team all the time with my friends and family. I work for the Mystics and let me tell you I am a true fan just like you. 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. I have been working for the Mystics for three years, but my mother and my aunt have had season tickets since 1998. I started out in Section 100, Row J. So I get emails all the time regarding team performance. Let me be the first to say EXPECT GREAT FROM THE WASHINGTON MYTSICS MYSTICS FANS! They are going to be a really competitive team this season. I am just so EXCITED! I can’t wait! All of our positions are DEEEEEP. We are going to be bringing the basketball. Can’t you feel it?

    To all my lovely season ticket holders, tickets are going out Thursday, May 14th and Friday, May 15th via UPS. If you have a P.O. Box address you will be receiving your tickets via USPS. Please note that in your kit, there is a voucher to pick up your season ticket holder gift at the Game on June 25th and July 18th behind section 104. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. Remember that we have a pre-season game on May 28th at 11:30am against the New York Liberty. I am counting down to the home opener. I look forward to seeing you at the Verizon Center.

    Continue Believing and EXPECT GREAT! GO MYSTICS!

    Eboni
    Washington Mystics
    Guest Service Manager

    Tuesday, May 12th - Angela Taylor talks about rocking the red, being a witness and giiving up chocolate.

    Hey Mystics Fans,

    After what has seemed like years, we are only a few days from the open of training camp and I must tell you that there is an awesome buzz around our offices.

    As of this past weekend, our entire staff is in town. Lisa, Joey, and Vicky have all moved their belongings to DC and are ready to do what they can to build this championship organization. They will join Coach Plank and her staff as they continue to work countless hours in preparation for the open of camp. I have been completely impressed with our coaching staff (led by Coach Plank) and their work ethic, attention to detail, passion for teaching, and winning mentality. It is so inspiring to come to work every day.

    In addition to the staff, as of today about 9 of our players will be in town (Lang, AB, Mo, Riss, Chas, Tasha, Kia, Kiesha, Nikki, and BMo) getting ready for media day on Friday, May 15th. We are all really excited to begin working with everybody. This is why I love my job! Such a classy group of young women who are excited about what the future holds for our franchise.

    We’d also like to welcome Kelly “Schu” Schumacher to the Mystics family. Kelly brings many things to our team, and we look forward to tapping into her championship experience!

    For those of you who are keeping count, we are close to finalizing our training camp roster, which will be submitted on Friday. With the group that has been assembled, we are looking forward to a very competitive camp where every player will challenge herself & her teammates to get better ¬every day.

    Congratulations are in order for Marissa & Josephine both of whom will be receiving their diplomas in the next few days. Marissa will walk at UMD on May 21st-22nd and Josephine is set to graduate from Union on May 23rd. These two obviously represent what is great about college athletics and the WNBA…the importance of excellence in the classroom as well as excellence on the court. Not only will both of them leave campus with a championship ring (or rings in Josephine’s case), but they will also leave their respective institutions with a bright future secured by a college degree. Congrats!

    Congrats also go out to Matee for helping to guide her team (Fenerbache) to the Turkish Championship last Friday by beating Lindsey Harding’s team 3-0 in the best of five series. Matee joins AB, Mo, and Lang as champions during this off-season. Winning is contagious, so I look forward to seeing the positive impact this on-court success during the off-season will have on our entire team.

    Speaking of champions, make sure you tune in tonight to cheer on the Caps in Game 7 of their series versus the Penguins. Rock the Red. For those that know me well, YES I am officially jumping on the Caps’ bandwagon! By the way, Mikhail explained the nuances of the power play to me the other day, so I am excited about watching the Caps capitalize on their power play chances tonight!

    I am also officially a Witness. LeBron James is simply incredible. I am completely impressed with his leadership skills at such a young age & the chemistry that he has created for their team. It is truly a joy watching the Cavs play. Can’t wait to see if they face the Celtics or the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals.

    As I mentioned earlier, Lisa Ciaravella (our strength coach) is now in town full time & I have found it quite amazing how all of our (ok, I am referring to myself) eating habits in the basketball operations department have changed as she patrols the office. We have gone from drawers full of chocolate, candy dishes filled to the brim, gigantic boxes of Cheez-Its, and morning trips to Dunkin Donuts….to tofu, PB&J sandwiches, and salads for lunch. If she can have the impact on our team’s fitness that she has already had around the office…

    I know Mother’s Day was last Sunday, but I wanted to take a moment to wish all of the mothers out there a happy belated Mother’s Day and a special Happy Mother’s Day to my mom! Love ya!

    Looking forward to checking out our new microsite – www.hoopsnheels.com. Check it out now to find out more about our amazing players and staff.

    Great things going on with the Mystics organization. We definitely are As Real As It Gets, so make sure you check us out this season (and bring your friends)!

    Go Mystics!
    Angela

    Monday, May 11th - Nicole Jones shares her thoughts about Mother’s Day.

    Hello Mystics Fans,

    I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, especially the mothers. This seems fairly familiar as I wrote a blog last year around Mother’s Day. It seems like I’m the designated Mother’s Day blogger or something. So I’ll share with you what I had planned for this beautiful holiday weekend.

    This year, was quite different for me and my Mom. I opted to go a different and untraditional route. Unfortunately, I was not able to physically spend Mother’s Day with my Mom this year. Instead, I chose to spend the weekend with my sister and her family. It’s not a bad thing as I got to spend time with them and have a nice break from the monotony of everyday life. But the real reason for my trip was to help celebrate the baptism/confirmation of my nephew. We’re all so very proud that he’s decided to take this monumental step.

    Of course my parents would have loved to celebrate the occasion too. But some previous commitments didn’t allow for that. I sent my Mom flowers and a card. But it just wasn’t the same. I didn’t get to see her face when she bragged about them on the phone to someone. I didn’t get to let her drag me to every store in the mall. I didn’t get to take her out for dinner to a new place I think she’d like. But overall, the truth is that I don’t have to wait for one particular day to spend time with my Mom. There are like 233 other ones left this year to do that!

    On another note, this blog would be remiss if I didn’t include something about the Mystics. I’m SO EXCITED for the season to start. We’ve all been preparing hard this off-season for a WINNING season. With less than a month until opening night, you don’t ant to be left out of all the excitement! We have pretty much every option covered - the traditional full season package, a 6 game package, a voucher package, or a single game package in the Party Zone or with a group. There are no excuses!! Give me a call or send an email soon as I would love to go over the details with you. I can be reached at 202-527-7516 or njones@washmystics.com.

    Until next go round - thanks for reading and have a great day!
    Nicole

    Friday, May 8th - Liz Sellers looks back on her birthday celebration.

    Hey Mystics Fans,

    It’s the final countdown!...

    Everyone in the office is excited and anticipating Opening Day of the 2009 season. As Coach Plank said this week, many of our players have returned from overseas post-season play and daily workouts have begun, preparing the team for the start of training camp.

    The month of April was an exiting time. The beginning brought the 2009 WNBA Draft, which had some fantastic selections including our number two pick, Marissa Coleman from the University of Maryland. Fans and those here in the Mystics front office were thrilled to welcome her to the team.

    To wrap up the month, I moved into a new apartment and turned 24. After visiting over thirty places, I decided on a great place with a great view…and the catch: it’s located in the same building I was currently living in…just my luck! So fortunately it was a fairly easy move and I am happy to say I was able to celebrate my birthday without any boxes or bubble wrap.

    This year’s celebration wasn’t too crazy…as some have been in the past. I was greeted at the office, the morning of the 30th with vanilla cupcakes courtesy of our Marketing Manager, Rebecca Hunt and treated to a great lunch with some of my fellow Mystics staff, ending the day with a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs (my usual birthday meal)!

    Celebrating my birthday means spring is wrapping up and summer is peaking around the corner. Mystics’ basketball will be here before you know it!

    I look forward to next time…
    Liz

    Thursday, May 7th - A tanned Greg Bibb returns to Pass the Ball.

    We finally made it…welcome to May! It’s training camp month in Mystics Land. This week alone Alana Beard, Monique Currie, Nakia Sanford and Bernice Mosby returned to Washington. We are now talking in terms of days instead of months when discussing the start of training camp. It’s an exciting time here and I have a lot on my mind, this seventh day of May, 2009.

    Home Opener: One Calendar Turn Away

    With today being May 7, we are exactly one calendar month away from the 2009 home opener on June 7 vs. the Atlanta Dream. Of course, the season will start one day earlier with a road date at Connecticut on June 6. That’s 30 days until the season tips-off and 31 days until we raise the curtain at Verizon Center! Don’t forget to get your tickets!

    Kiesha Brown Returns

    By now you may have heard, we have signed veteran guard Kiesha Brown. Kiesha returns to the Mystics after originally being signed by the team in 2002. The University of Georgia product spent the past two seasons with the LA Sparks. Kiesha joins Lindsey Harding and Nikki Blue in what should be a great training camp battle at point guard.

    Hoops N Heels Set To Launch

    Our brand new website, Hoops N Heels, will launch this week. This social-based site will focus on women’s issues and initiatives. You’ll be able to read player interviews, pick up a great recipe and stay up-to-date with all of the off-the-court Mystics news. Be sure to check it out.

    Welcome, Lisa

    I would like to officially welcome our new strength and conditioning coach, Lisa Ciaravella, to the Mystics family. Lisa arrived in Washington on Monday and has already started working with our players who are in town. Lisa comes to us with an outstanding background and is going to do great things for our athletes, which will produce positive results in the win/loss column. Welcome, Lisa!

    Go Caps, Go!

    A belated congratulations to the Washington Capitals on winning the club’s first round playoff series against the New York Rangers. The Caps overcame a three games to one deficit to take the series and advance to the second round against Pittsburgh Penguins.

    May Mystics Birthdays

    Just one birthday in May amongst the Mystics staffers…account executive Veronica Sander will celebrate her special day at the end of the month…May 31. Happy birthday, Veronica. There are 22 Mystics season ticket holders, however, who will celebrate a birthday in May. I’ll be giving you all a call to say a quick hello and wish you well on the anniversary of your birth.

    A Great Vacation

    My family and I took a quick trip to our favorite vacation spot last week…Siesta Key, FL. This was Adelyn’s first trip to Siesta (if you don’t count the time we were there while Tara was pregnant) and I was curious to see how she would respond to the sand and the Gulf of Mexico. I must say, she is a certified beach bunny. She loved collecting shells, walking in the sand and, after some convincing, jumping in the Gulf waves. Trips to Siesta are always fun, but the little one definitely makes it better.

    I would also like to give a quick shout-out to dedicated blog reader Sara who resides in Orlando and made the two-hour trip over to the key to say hello. Thanks for stopping by Sara and keep on reading!

    Quote of the Week

    "When the door slams shut, get creative and make a window."

    Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

    • I’m a Dodgers fan. I’m loving the start of the baseball season.

    • The Boston-Carolina hockey playoff series looks to be a good one. Is there anything better than playoff hockey?

    • Loved the segway tour of DC Tara and I took a few weeks ago. If you haven’t tried it, this is a great way to see the city.

    • Congrats to LeBron James…NBA MVP at the ripe old age of 24.

    • You heard it here first…the Philadelphia Eagles pulled off the steal of the NFL draft by selecting LeSean McCoy with the 53rd overall selection. The former Pitt Panther is going to be a star.

    Until next time,

    Go Mystics!

    Wednesday, May 6th - Erin Mitchell looks forward to a healthy Mother’s day weekend.

    Hey Mystics Fans!

    Spring is in the air and the countdown to training camp is officially on! It’s been such a long off season and we are beyond excited to get the 2009 Washington Mystics season started. There’s a constant buzz in the office; the players are floating in and out en route to workouts and practice; everyone is anxious about the season.

    I’m looking forward to getting a little bit of rest this weekend with my mom. Mother’s Day is always a good time for us. Last year my mom visited me in Atlanta and the Saturday evening before Mother’s Day I had a severe allergy attack! I mean coughing, sneezing, chest pains – it was a very rare and frightening experience for me because we don’t know what triggered it. Needless to say my mom was ready to drive me to the nearest hospital because she couldn’t bear to see her baby girl in distress. I refused to ruin her weekend so I took an abundance of Benedryl and rested for the majority of Mother’s Day at home. We didn’t even make it out for dinner as I had planned. I didn’t plan anything special this year so Dora (the other Explorer) and I will just wing it. I envision a weekend filled with shopping, maybe a movie or two, a couple of great meals (maybe Mom will make one – just kidding) and the usual jokes and loads of laughs. As long as there aren’t any unwarranted allergy attacks we’ll be fine.

    I’ve been fortunate to finally have the chance to meet some and catch up with a number of my season ticket holders. Most recently, I had lunch with Mary Dixon, a Mystics Founding Fan, and someone that I always have great conversations with. Thanks again for lunch Ms. Dixon! I also had the pleasure of having a separate lunch meeting with Jo Ann Toye-Chestnut (a longtime season ticket holder) and Ms. Sue Barnes. Sue Barnes is eighty-one years young and is the holder of eight World Championship Medals and three National Medals in track and field. It was such a pleasure meeting such a graceful and humble woman like Sue. Her story is so inspirational because she did not begin her athletic career until the tender age of sixty. Look forward to hearing more about Sue at a Mystics game this season.

    Now’s the time to start getting your youth basketball teams, church ministries, family reunions and any other group outing planned. We have a number of theme nights planned including Gospel Night on July 18th and will also host birthday parties throughout the season in the Dewar’s Club. This year’s Gospel Night concert will feature Deitrick Haddon as well as local artist ASON. Give me a call or send me a note to get your church group’s tickets for the night or to get started with planning your child’s birthday party.

    Can’t wait to see you all this summer at the Verizon Center!

    Until next time,
    Erin

    Tuesday, May 5th - Coach Plank checks in.

    Hello Mystics Fans!

    We are less than two weeks away from the start of training camp! We will have quite a bit of our players in this week, to work out with our coaching staff and play against some local guys. The guys have been great, giving up their time to help us out, challenge us, and make us better. I have no idea how she does it, but Natalia has 6-10 guys every day we need them! Lisa (our strength coach) is here now, and will begin lifting with our players. She also will be testing them, to determine what type of condition they are in, as well as evaluating their diet. Our staff is excited, as I believe nearly eight of our players will be in DC this week!

    My assistants and I have been busy putting together offensive and defensive playbooks, as well as organizing our advanced scouting of other WNBA teams. Joey Levin (our video coordinator) arrives tomorrow, after graduating this past weekend from Florida State. Drew Ryan (Maryland video person) has been putting in countless hours helping our staff use our computer software, to diagram plays. Sheila and Natalia are busy taking care of the players’ housing needs, as well as organizing their transportation to DC for training camp. Navin is setting up physical times for the players as they come in town, so they will be ready to go on May 17th. Vicky Bullett finishes up with her school commitment this week, and will be here ready to go…boy does she have some energy!!! There is so much that goes on behind the scenes, and I can’t say enough about all the support we have had from everyone in the Mystic’s office! Angela and I continue to evaluate our roster daily, as we want to have the best training camp roster the Mystics have ever had, beginning Sunday, May 17th.

    I have been thoroughly impressed with the commitment of our players this off-season. After just getting back from winning the Polish Championship, Alana and Monique were here early every morning, lifting and running in the weight room! Marissa has continued to workout with her former teammates at Maryland, as well as comes over to the Verizon Center twice a week. While the majority of our players are back in the USA, we still are waiting for CoCo Miller to return. In the Turkish Finals, we have two Mystic players competing against one another…Lindsey Harding vs Matee Ajavon. Kiesha Brown has just re-signed with us, and we are very excited to bring her back to DC. She adds another veteran, with more experience running the point guard position, and also shoots the ball extremely well. Chasity Melvin will be here tomorrow, after celebrating a big birthday yesterday in Atlanta! :)

    OK…here is a little funny story…

    As you will soon find out about me, my family is the most important thing in my life! I would be nowhere without the support of all of them! My brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and of course, my Mom, call me daily to check in on how things are in DC. I have already had many family members visit me, and I have only been here for four months. They are now making plans for the summer, which will include numerous trips to DC to watch our Mystics team play. Some are already planning “road trips” to see our team play away from the Verizon Center. The one thing anyone would say about our family is…we are very genuine…what you see is what you get! So, here is my story…

    My Mom and sister Jane, came to visit me in my high rise apartment. My building is full of pets, which is great, except our family did not grow up with any pets in the house. My Mom was full of questions when she arrived…Where do you go to the store? Where do you go running? Do you have a reserved parking spot? As we headed down the hallway to enter into my apartment, I said to my Mom and sister, “Those are the pet elevators”. And Mom of course said, “What are the pet elevators”? My response was “That is where the pets go up and down”. As cute as ever, my Mom said, “Well, how do the pets know when to get off”?!!! I thought my sister and I would die laughing…my Mom wants to know everything in my world! I cannot imagine not talking with her 3 times a day! So, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM!!! :)

    I have been talking with a lot of fans, while I am in the grocery store, outside working out, eating out at restaurants, or shopping at sporting good stores. They are very excited about our team this summer! I hope you all have your season tickets for 2009, as it is going to be an exciting one!!!

    Don’t miss out…

    Coach Plank

    Monday, May 4th - Lauren Lafayette wonders if the rain will ever end.

    Good Morning Mystics Fans,

    I know you are all familiar with the old adage “April showers bring May flowers”; however, it seems as if the rain doesn’t stop at all…or at least in the month of May here in DC. I know regionally speaking we all have to deal with various types of inclement weather but this rainy, dreary weather that consumes every five out of seven days a week here is completely ridiculous. While this is only my second spring in DC, I can honestly say that this rain seems never ending.

    So this upcoming weekend is Mother’s Day and my mom is coming down to visit me for a few days. As I mentioned before, the rain and I are not friends at all and I would rather stay inside all day just to avoid trudging through the puddles and the mud. However, I love my mom and she likes to get out and see the sights. So I will just have to hope for a miracle this weekend and pray that the rain stays out of the region (which will never happen) or suck it up and make the best out of the situation. Sadly, I assume the latter will prevail and I will end up going out in the rain. With this being said, what ideas can you all give me that will satisfy my mother’s desire to get the most out DC and my desire not to get caught out in the rain?

    Please send me your ideas and thoughts on what may be fun for me and my mom this weekend. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers reading and see you in a few weeks…the countdown is on!!!

    Have a wonderful week,
    Lauren

    Friday, May 1st - Heather Locke talks about her upcoming weekend.

    Hi Mystics Fans!

    As the week comes to a close, we are just over a month from the Mystics opening night game! May is going to be wild and wonderful!

    The Capitals begin Round 2 of the Playoffs on Saturday. It seems like everyone in the DC area will pack in to the Verizon center for one of the most anticipated playoff match ups. I have a feeling there won’t be many Pens fans making the trek from Pittsburgh to DC, and the brave ones who do will probably have trouble finding a seat for the game inside or outside the arena! Credit to the Caps organization, I will be Rocking the Red on Saturday!

    While most of my friends and colleagues will show their Caps pride in DC this weekend, I am taking mine to Harrisonburg, Virginia. It is funny how a mainly unknown Harrisonburg is getting two shout outs from the Mystics staff in consecutive blogs. Veronica mentioned that she is a native of Harrisonburg, home to my alma mater, James Madison University.

    I will be returning to JMU tomorrow and visiting the JMU Women’s Basketball Crown Club. As I mentioned, the Mystics opening day game is fast approaching. While the Harrisonburg community collectively supports Kristi Toliver, the Crown Club is also all about Tamera Young. Last year, the Crown Club made the two hour trip to DC to see Tamera, (the first ever WNBA draft pick from James Madison), when the Atlanta Dream visited the Mystics. The Mystics welcome the Crown Club again this year and I can’t wait to meet some of the members this weekend!

    When Mystics business at JMU is finished, I plan to spend some of the weekend exploring the outdoors and visiting a few college friends. My kayak has been collecting dust in my DC basement and I am going to toss it in the back of my car and plan a short river trip on Saturday afternoon. (Chris here at work likes to make fun of my Subaru Baja but it is marvelously convenient for my lifestyle). The Shenandoah Valley is collectively the most beautiful area I have lived in and I often miss being able to take my mountain bike, kayak or even trail running shoes just a few miles down the road for an excursion. While I have never taken advantage of nature, the benefits of living in a place like the Valley can sometimes go unnoticed in the moment but are sorely missed as a city dweller.

    A few, final (and very random) tidbits:

    Hopefully I will get to see my favorite soon to be graduate of UVA Law School this weekend. He is working hard during finals and I am so proud of him!

    I might pretend I am an undergrad and play a game of pick up Frisbee on the Quad this weekend. Shh, don’t tell anyone!

    The Red Sox continue to impress and I need to renew my MLB TV subscription so I have something other than gameday audio on the computer!

    Welcome the newest member of the Mystics family – Will Woldenberg!

    And a not so random final thought:

    Two months into my time with the Mystics and I continue to find new and great things within this organization. While the Caps are the playoff team in this season, the excitement for the Mystics is mounting with each day and each player that returns to the area. The Mystics really are a family and anyone who is a part of our family can feel the bond and is overwhelmed with positive vibes!

    -Heather