January 2010

Friday, January 29th - Nicole Boden explains why she loves DC. [permalink]

Hello Mystics fans!!! Once again it’s my turn to check in. Let’s see, what to write about, what to write about. The last time I checked in I told you all about my trip to Seattle to see my family. Well, recently I made a trip down to Miami with two of my friends.

My two best friends Naomi and Catherine met me in Miami for a bachelorette weekend for Catherine who is getting married in March in Phoenix. It was a great time catching up with friends and we just relaxed, shopped and ATE. We ate so much food… needless to say it wasn’t a crazy bachelorette weekend that some would think but we definitely had fun!! I love my girls and I can not wait to see them again in March for Catherine’s wedding.

This month has definitely been a month of catching up with old friends. One of my very good friends came to visit me at the beginning of January all the way from Dubai. It was great to see him and I definitely plan on visiting him in Dubai one of these days. Let’s just say he picked the coldest weekend to come visit. It was freezing but I wanted to make sure he saw every monument, building and landmark. We also made a trip to the White House which is just amazing to visit. I have been fortunate to make several trips to the White House since I was little and it never ceases to amaze me.

Spending time with my friend that weekend reminded me why I love DC. I love the history, the culture, the people and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Well maybe somewhere warm but that’s why I go on trips with my friends.

That’s all Mystics fans. See you this summer at the Verizon Center.

Take care,
Nicole Boden

Thursday, January 28th - Check out Tim Gallant’s thoughts on Tiger Woods. [permalink]

Hello Mystics Fans,

I hope all is going well for everyone and you are all as excited as I am for the start of the season. With that being said, time has been flying by and I can hardly believe that we are approaching February. Why it seems like just the other day that we were wrapping up our successful 2009 campaign and celebrating our well deserved playoff berth. Hopefully we can surpass that feat and bring a championship to Washington.

On the personal side, it has been a hectic couple of weeks. I have had the opportunity to go skiing several times on the weekends. It is always fun to get out and spend a day on the slopes with friends and family. Not so fortunately, I came down with a nasty virus that left me bed-ridden for a day or so, but I am nearly fully recovered.

Also, it has been an exciting time for the sports world, with the NFL playoffs in full swing. Was it just me, or could everyone tell that the moment Brett Favre released the ball at the end of Sunday’s game, it was not ending well? I do feel a bit of sympathy towards him, but I am happy the Saints made the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. Also, the golf season has started and things have gotten off to an interesting start.

Which brings me to my final point: Does anyone think Tiger Woods is going to miss the Masters? The same guy who limped 91 holes in the 2008 US Open to win his 14th major title, the same guy who nearly lost the 2005 Masters because he was so jacked up after his chip-in at 16, the same guy who can’t stand to lose. He will be there, mark my words. To put it into perspective, it would be like Michael Jordan missing Game 7, Roger Federer missing Wimbledon, Babe Ruth missing the Series. Ummmm no.

Hope you have a great few weeks.
Tim

Wednesday, January 27th - Mike Ragan shares some big news! [permalink]

Hey Mystics fans…

Good to check back in with you all. Well, my life has certainly changed in the last couple of months!! My wife and I welcomed our son Matthew James to the world a month early on November 21st. He has absolutely taken over my world and no one can love him more than Jen and I, but Grandma Swanson certainly is close!! Matthew was born with a heart defect that required surgery and certainly made the holiday season very stressful for us. Thanks to a lot of support from great friends and family and the amazing doctors and nurses that were watching over him, the surgery went well and Matthew is doing great. So if you see me at a game this summer and I’m holding a little kid, its probably Matthew so please stop over and say hello to him!!

On the Mystics front, if you haven’t renewed your tickets, please contact your rep or myself and get back on board. It is going to be an amazing year for us and I know Angela is going to do all she can to improve what was already a playoff team. We appreciate all of your support and business and don’t take any of you for granted. As the season gets closer, their will start to be more events so I look forward to seeing you all again. Until then..Go Mystics!!

Mike

Tuesday, January 26th - Coach Julie Plank recaps a very busy week. [permalink]

Hello Mystics Fans!

First of all, it was awesome to see so many of you at the Maryland–Duke game Monday night! What a great game it was as the young Maryland Terps gave the highly ranked Dukies a run for their money. It was a great crowd, and a battle from start to finish. Maryland showed extreme toughness, finishing the game with a long range 3-pointer, to come within 1 point of beating the #1 team in the ACC. It was a great environment, as the Comcast Center was rocking with enthusiasm!

The night started with a special event co-hosted by the University of Maryland and the Washington Mystic organizations. Many people gathered to celebrate National Women and Sports Day by listening to a few honored guests. The keynote speaker was Nancy Lieberma who has broken many barriers in her day, and was recently been named the Head Coach in the NBDL (National Basketball Developmental League). The other outstanding panelists included: Val Ackerman, Founding President of the WNBA, Dr. Debbie Yow, Athletic Director at the University of Maryland, and Angela Taylor, Vice President and General Manager of the Washington Mystics. Each of them shared their own individual paths to very successful careers. There was something very evident here…these women are pioneers and role models for all women and young girls striving to make a difference in the athletic world we live in! Their messages were impressive!

As our current Mystic players continue to work on their games overseas, Alana Beard is making a difference in our DC community. Alana continues to inspire young female athletes to dream, pursue, and enhance their futures thru hard work, perserverance, and goal setting. She has been speaking with High School teams in the area, about how she has accomplished so much & what it takes to be great. Alana is the epitome of hard work! It has been wonderful being in the Verizon Center every morning at 8:30am working out with Alana, as she continues to polish her individual game. This is (by the way), after she has done an hour and a ˝ of “hot yoga”, beginning at 6:30am! Talk about commitment…Alana has it! It is easy for me to see, why she has been a perennial MVP candidate.

The conference play at the college level is heating up. Here is a summary of what has been going on this week, around the country:
• Pac 10…Arizona beats Oregon 119-112, setting a new record of 231 pts scored in a conference game. Paul Westhead has brought his high scoring offense to the Pac 10! Stanford was able to hang on this past weekend, after hitting 13 3-point shots out of 35 attempts!!! Oregon was leading the nation (yes over Connecticut!) averaging close to 86 points per game.
• Big 12…Congratulations go out to Sherri Coale, who tabbed her 300th career victory this past weekend. She has her Oklahoma squad back in the Top 15, even after losing the Paris twins to graduation. They are certainly a fun team to watch in the very competitive Big 12 conference! Imagine having 7 teams out of the Big 12 being ranked in the Top 25 nationally.
• Nebraska, led by senior Kelsey Griffin, continues to play great basketball, and set a Cornhusker record for home attendance, having 13,000+ for their game vs Kansas State.
• How impressive has Andrea Riley been for Oklahoma State, and she continues to put up some very impressive numbers for her team, leading the Big 12 in scoring. She can “do it all” and has a burst of speed that few can match!
• SEC…What a game it was as Andy Landers’ squad upset the Tennessee Lady Volunteers by 3 points in Athens, GA. It was the first time Georgia has beaten Tennessee in 8 tries. I am very impressed with the Bulldogs, as they have a great mix of veteran and new players! The leadership of Ashley Houts makes them special, along with their depth on the interior. Angel Robinson and Portia Phillips do most of the damage on the inside, while a few of their freshman are going to be “forces” in the SEC for the next 4 years! They will be a very dangerous team come NCAA time.
• While Duke remains atop of the ACC conference, Ohio State continues to be impressive in the Big 10. We will see how the rest of conference play will affect the NCAA seeding???
• Big East…will anyone give Connecticut a game? The Huskies will play their conference rivals the Rutgers Scarlet Knights this week.
• Atlantic 10…Xavier continues to make a scene on the national level, with their balanced squad. They are extremely talented on the inside, with the tandem of T’shia Phillips and Amber Harris. That 1-2 punch has provided many wins for the Xavier program!

The free agent talks with WNBA players continue as there is a lot of interest in the DC market. Keep your fingers crossed as February 1st (next Monday) is the first day for them to sign with teams. We hope to have a couple of new Mystics players on our roster for the 2010 season. As you know, every day is about getting better! I know you will be excited to see the additions to our already talented Mystics squad. Please know that your support and passion has a huge influence in attracting players to DC! I can’t see a better environment to play in than a packed Verizon Center!

Finally, Happy Birthday to Mikhail Ovechkin, who is a pleasure to work with each and every day! There is no one more passionate about what they do than Mikhail! I want to thank him personally, for all the support and hard work that he provides both me and my staff. He is a very special person and we are very fortunate to have “BIG DOG” working with us!!! My highlight of the week:
• From Columbus, Ohio…hearing my 8 year old nephew Timmy, tell me he “set a record” for A-pluses on his recent report card! There is nothing better than to see achievements being made by those who are willing to work hard and invest! Congratulations Tim!!!

Training camp is about 3 months away, and we are very excited about 2010! Our players and staff are working extremely hard to bring a Championship to DC! I hope you will continue to support our team, by purchasing your season tickets. Thanks in advance for the enthusiasm and passion you bring to our franchise!

Until next time,
Coach Plank

Monday, January 25th- Rebecca Hunt recaps her busy weekend. [permalink]

Hi Mystics fans!

Happy Monday! Most people would say “Thank goodness it’s Friday” but I say “Thank goodness it’s Monday!” I have a habit of booking up my weekends and then by the time Monday rolls around I feel like I am so glad it’s the week and life can get back to a schedule!

Friday night was a High School Team of the Week game. I headed to Hungtingtown HS in Maryland. Alana Beard was the evening’s speaker and she spoke with Huntingtown’s Varsity & JV teams as well as the visiting Varsity & JV teams from Northern High School. Huntingtown was very welcoming and they hung a huge banner welcoming Alana! AB did a great job of talking to the teams about motivation, teamwork and the importance of hard work. She is always able to really relate to the players and they look up to her. I must say I have really enjoyed watching all the HS games, this area has a ton of talent!

I left the game Friday night in time to get home and welcome some friends that were visiting from Boston & New York for the weekend. It was great to see them and we stayed up late just hanging out and catching up. Saturday morning after making breakfast for everyone I headed to Richmond, Va to meet my parents for lunch and to exchange vehicles. My truck failed inspection a couple of weeks ago (luckily I just needed to repair a few minor things to pass-fog light, new tire) but the mechanic sited a list of other problems that needed attention and would cost a few thousand dollars! I decided to take my chances and send my truck to the trusty mechanic back home. A few hundred dollars, a Lonestar steakhouse lunch and a trip to Richmond later I was all set with my fixed up truck. ;)

Saturday after eating at a swanky restaurant in Georgetown, we went out to a really cool bar, H Street Country Club in DC. The bar has a mini-golf course inside. Unfortunately, after starting off with a hole-in-one my golf game was downhill from there. I fared better on the shuffleboard table! Saturday night it seemed like a good idea to close down the bar. Sunday morning when the alarm went off to wake us for brunch at another friend’s place closing down the bar seemed like an awful idea!

Sunday night was great, the Mystics and the University of Maryland hosted a National Girls & Women in Sports Day event at UMD before the women’s bball team played Duke. We had over 200 people come out to the event to hear from our amazing panel of : Nancy Lieberman, Val Ackerman, Dr. Debbie Yow and Angela Taylor. We really appreciate the panelists and everyone that came out to the event.

Here it is Monday, I hope everyone has a great week and finally, remember to keep up with us online, check-out our facebook page for updates and become our follower on twitter @WashMystics.

Friday, January 22nd - Sheila Robinson recaps her busy November and December. [permalink]

Happy New Year Mystics Fans!

Well the holidays are over and it is back to work. I have enjoyed this holiday season. I was on vacation some in November and lots in December. I started my vacation with Thanksgiving in NC, where my husband is from. It is always nice to see family, eat good food and relax in the country air. After Thanksgiving, the holiday I enjoy most is Christmas. I love putting up the tree and stringing lights. I am like a kid in a candy store when I see lights all around the city. Christmas time is also my peak baking time. My son and I have a tradition where we bake cookies on Christmas Eve and eat junk food from Christmas morning through New Years! Of course I make a balanced breakfast in the mornings, but after that, cookies, pies and cakes.

I also celebrated another important day in December, my birthday (on the 28th) the big 45. This year I wanted to do something big, different, out of the ordinary. I couldn’t think of anything so, I played it safe. I had lunch with a high school classmate, and it was a great time. We laughed, reminisced and enjoyed good food and a bottle of Chianti, I had never had it before and I enjoy it a lot, thanks Di (Diane Jones). That evening, I also enjoyed a Caps game with my husband and our neighbor. We had great seats and the game was exciting; they lost, but it was a good game. When I got home the night ended with cocktails with my other neighbors and hubby. I am not sure what time I eventually went to bed, but I think it was late. It was a great birthday.

On to New Years…we went to some friends’ house to ring in the New Year. We had food, party hats, noisemakers and of course champagne. There weren’t lots of people, so we enjoyed ourselves. In closing, I can honestly say, I enjoyed my vacation with Spencer (son) and Lonnie (hubby). I highly recommend everyone take time for family and friends and in the words of my husband, Make Today Your Greatest! Words we try to live by. That’s my time folks,

Take Care,
Sheila Rob


Thursday, January 21st -Chasity Melvin checks in from Turkey. [permalink]

Wazzzzzzzzzup Mystics Fans. I'm in Adana Turkey playing for Botas Spor Women's Basketball team. My teammates are Courtney Paris, Epiphanny Prince and Sharnee Zoll. You know, I never thought 33 was old but I am 10 years older than all of them. I guess I'm getting up there, needless to say I am still having fun and getting the job done. I'm enjoying my time here in Turkey and my dog Reddington is learning the streets here in the city. I had a great three months off after the season was over and got to spend valuable time with family and friends. I was able to rest my body and let the little injuries heal. I was actually taking these Gyrotonics classes and I really enjoyed them. When I was finished with my class, it actually felt like I had gotten a massage. Weird right? I know but very true. So if anyone is interested in a massage and a workout then Gyrotonic classes are for you.

It was good to be back in DC last season and it was an adjustment getting used to another system. It seems like I have changed systems every year since my stint in Cleveland. The atmosphere was much more positive and professional this go around. I will definitely feel more comfortable next season. So I'm looking forward to having a better 2010 season. Hey I like the sound of that: a 20 and 10 season... With a little help from JP, just more minutes that's all I'm asking Julie.

I've been keeping a blog up of my everyday adventures here in Turkey and just any and everything so check me out after your visit here at http://www.chasitymelvin.com/

I hope all is well with everyone and God Bless!
Chas


Wednesday, January 20th - Account Executive Sarah Novak talks about the Women 2 Women program. [permalink]

As you all know there have been many changes in the Mystics Organization in the past two years. I was one of those changes coming on board in December of 2007! I have coordinated Ladies Night, Wine & Cheese, Princess Party and my baby, Women 2 Women. I am so excited about this upcoming year. About a week ago, the new 2010 W2W members and also the returning members gathered together for our first event! The ladies were very talkative amongst each other and I feel that this year is going to be a fabulous year for them and also for the Mystics. This group of women comes from all different industries and all different backgrounds but the Mystics Women 2 Women program holds them together. It is so intriguing to me to hear and also see these women with so different backgrounds network and interact with each other. I love my group and to see it grow to where it is now and also to see where it is going is such a great accomplishment for me. If you want more information please call your Rep or call me!

On a more personal note my birthday is this month! I am very excited about it this year because my girlfriends are not telling me what is going on and basically they are Sarahnapping me. It is like kidnapping but they are taking me away without me knowing where we are going for all the festivities. I do love surprises but because I am not even given so much as a hint it is a bit uneasy for me considering I am always in control. So with letting my control go I am wishing for a birthday full of great friends, excellent food, and aged wine.

Sarah


Tuesday, January 19th - Angela Taylor talks free agency. [permalink]

Hey Mystics Fans,

First, I just want to send out my prayers to those directly & indirectly affected by the disaster in Haiti. If you are able to, please join forces with others around the world by donating to one of the many organizations aiding in the relief effort. Every dollar makes a huge difference in the lives of those affected by the tragedy. There will be so much assistance needed in order to help in the relief and the rebuilding of that city.

I hope everyone was able to enjoy a relaxing day off while celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday yesterday! I was able to enjoy an entertaining & informative historical play put on by the youth ministry in the church that I attend. I must say that I was quite impressed with the theatrical & vocal talent displayed by these youngsters. Like many of us, I was reinvigorated once again after hearing part of MLK’s speech and was inspired to get back to work on contacting this year’s free agents.

Speaking of which, free agency is off to a great start. We have had some great conversations with several of the top free agents around the league & have become quite adept at calculating the time difference from various locales around the world. Skype has once again become our best friend. So much so that Julie & I both can probably hear the subtle auditory beep that notifies you when someone has responded to our messages from another room.

Luckily, there are a few players who remain in the states these days, so we were also able to host a free agent here in DC last weekend as well. It is really encouraging to hear how much players around the league notice & appreciate the direction our franchise is heading (especially those who are interested in being a part of our journey to bringing home that championship trophy).

While we are very excited about the changes we have been able to make to our roster over the last 14 months, this is a game of chess & we must continue to find a way to get better on & off the court. We were able to add some key pieces to the puzzle last year by adding Lindsey, Matee, and Marissa and now we are looking to find someone who can provide a consistent low-block presence & complement the post play of Lang, solidify our back up point guard role so Lindsey can get some rest, improve our perimeter shooting to take advantage of the dribble penetration our perimeter players produce, add veteran leadership with someone with championship experience, and shore up our defensive presence with players who value that end of the court as much as the offensive end.

As we all know, with the elimination of the Sacramento franchise, there are some really talented players on the market, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see quite a bit of movement (through free agency & trades) this off-season. Every team is trying to find a way to upgrade their roster while filling in some gaps in depth with a quality veteran. The reduction in the salary cap max will play a factor in what final rosters look like, so it will be interesting to see what we all will do to get better. The rumor mill is heating up, so I can’t wait to see what actually takes place.

It is still too early to tell, but we feel very confident in what we have to offer here in DC & players are excited about the opportunity to play with Alana, Lindsey, Lang, et al. If & when anything happens after February 1st, you all will be the first to know!!!

Things are also heating up in college women’s hoops….

Who (if anyone) will be able to challenge UCONN to a game over 40 minutes this season? There’s no question that the Huskies are the best team in the country & have been so this entire season, but what I am impressed with is that they seem to be getting better & better every game. From last week’s game versus North Carolina to their domination of Notre Dame earlier this week, they are proving that they have more than just Maya Moore and Tina Charles. Their young players are stepping up and in Monday night’s game against a very competitive Duke team, they showed that they are relentless in every phase of the game. They can score points in bunches, they control the boards with Moore & Charles, they are potent in transition, and they are very disruptive defensively.

All I can say is “wow”. I truly don’t know who will be able to put up a fight and challenge them let alone steal a victory, but that is why they play the game. You never know what can happen. There certainly are some other teams who are starting to hit their stride as well. This week’s Georgia vs. Tennessee game will pit two teams against each other who I think may match up well with UCONN if they meet during March Madness.

I must say that I was really glad to see ESPN’s College GameDay on-site in Connecticut prior to the Notre Dame game. A few years ago, they would only show up for a huge college football match-up, so it is encouraging to see that the women’s game continues to evolve and gain the support from sports media.

While UCONN’s 57 game winning streak certainly seems to be the headline for the 2009-10 college hoops season, there are several other stories starting to develop. Nebraska is showing that they are the real deal, seniors such as Monica Wright & Andrea Riley are stepping up and raising their stock, youngster (and game changer) Britney Griner is continuing to get better, and Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy has her Georgetown team adding another local team to the Top 25.

Well, we are a little over 3 months away from the start of training camp. This should be another exciting off-season of personnel moves leading up to what will be a great WNBA season, so if you haven’t renewed your tickets….renew today! If you’re not a Mystics season ticketholder….call today & jump on-board!

Until next time….

Go Mystics,
Angela


Monday, January 18th - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: NO BLOG


Friday, January 15th - Corporate Sponsorship Director Rob Hur talks about the benefits of partnering with the Mystics. [permalink]

TGIF Mystics fans!! I’m sure I speak for us all when expressing how happy I am that the week is nearing a close...back to that thought later. Like all of you, productivity and success is a beautiful thing and the great equalizer to hard work and dedication. And that’s what we’re enjoying here in the corporate partnership department of the Mystics. Transitioning into the New Year, we picked up where we left off in 2009 – With an impressive portfolio of companies engaged and interested in doing business. Each and every week we discover new prospective sponsors who “get it”...they get the excitement associated with the region’s most successful professional women’s sports team and the 2009 ‘Emerging Business of the Year” recipient, bestowed upon our franchise by the DC Chamber of Commerce. They get the value associated with a team which leads its league in both total attendance and season ticket holders. They get how we’re different based on our unique ability to reach so many women and families. They get the benefit of how WNBA fans rate higher than any professional sports fans in their tendencies to support those companies that partner with their hometown team. And they appreciate our tremendous year-round commitment to community and to our players who genuinely serve as role models for our children.

All of which leads me to express a great deal of optimism this new year. In corporate partnerships, we’ve never had a more comprehensive suite of assets and opportunities to offer the marketplace. On the court and in the front office, we are poised for great success. We have a wealth of value to offer each and every partner and in an era that often produces disappointment in our athletes or the manner in which our beloved sports teams are managed, we are proud to represent the positives in both our players and the ways in which we do business. I look forward to an exciting and fruitful year ahead. There’s much work to be done before we tip off in May. But with continued effort and focus on the part of our staff, we will arrive upon the 2010 season enjoying great success alongside our new and renewed business partners. In turn, we will all feel great about the relationships we’ve forged and the successes we’ve embarked on. And these long tiring weeks in the cold of January will seem both distant in memory and more importantly, well worth the journey. :)

Go Mystics!!


Thursday, January 14th - Nakia Sanford shares her life in Spain. [permalink]

Greetings everyone!!! I know we are about two weeks in and this is late, but HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

I had quite a few ideas for what I wanted to write about in my first blog of 2010, but I woke up to the news and my mood was altered by the events in Haiti. Life can change so quickly. So I hope today you all have taken the time to appreciate your families, and even in these tough economic times, everything that you have. Please please pray for the people of Haiti.

I am playing in Ibiza, Spain now. And all I have to say is…..where has Spain been all my life!!!! I really like it here; I think it might just top Italy and I LOVE ITALY! I am playing with Shannon (Pee-Wee) Johnson, and Krystal Vaughn was also added to the roster in late November. I played with Pee-Wee about two years ago in Italy, so it’s been a nice reunion. And you all know KV from our roster two years ago. It’s been an uphill climb, because I came well after the season started and it did not start very well. Our coach was recently released and they have changed three players, so the atmosphere has been a little turbulent. I can’t complain though, my teammates are great, and they are learning more as we go and getting better. I love the fact that I get to learn Spanish. I have wanted to learn for a long time. So now I have Italian and French under my belt, and soon Spanish.

It’s such a small world though, there is a French player on my team who played against me my first year overseas and Kansas was trying to recruit her. I talked to her about attending. Its funny years later that someone remembers me from way back, but Y’all, seriously I need to go and put a patent out on a new language, not sure what I’m going to call it…it’s a mix of Italian, English, Spanish and French. I don’t know a lot of words in Spanish yet, so I substitute Italian. On top of that we have two French/African players who like to speak to me in French so other people don’t know what they are saying. My other teammates talk to me in English and Spanish. So that creates a bunch of jumbled words in my head, I would give you an example of my new language, but since I don’t know how to write in Spanish, my point my not get across, so I’ll leave that alone.

I have been super busy working on the back office part of my foundation, the new site is up now(thebarfoundation.net), and the CLUB43 fundraiser was a success this past fall thanks to the DC community and others who donated precious time and money in Arkansas and Atlanta. We are planning an event in the DC area this summer so look out for upcoming projects please, and keep in touch, I love hearing from you guys! On top of that the restaurant keeps me learning something new everyday…usually from a mistake, but its really rewarding working to mold something into your own vision. So if your ever in South Atlanta area, stop By AD2 (5656 Jonesborow RD, Morrow, GA) and let me know what you think!!! Shot out to my dad for all the help he is giving, I don’t know how I would do it without him! Well, I’m about to close out, we have a game tomorrow against a team from the Ukraine. I don’t know how many of you follow me on twitter (ns43), but this is the same team we played last Thursday, and didn’t get home until this past Monday because we were stranded due to the weather. So you can imagine how tired we all are. But these last two days have been very productive with the new coaches and I’m hype about the changes we have made.

OOOOOh I almost forgot the most important thing, THE FOOD. I had some bomb paella, and we ate it right on the beach. I have been eating so well over here. Good thing it’s an island, there is lots of seafood for me. This is the offseason so the restaurants and beaches are not full of people. This means I get to experience Ibiza from another perspective, a better one I think. It’s just so chill here, which is perfect for me, because it is what I do best, CHILL. On that note I am going to do just that for few minutes on the couch before I get ready for bed, and leave you guys until next time. Remember to pray for the people of Haiti, appreciate every day, AAAAAAANNNNNDDDDD GO MYSTICS!!!

Kia


Wednesday, January 13th - Guest Services Manager, Eboni Tyler, checks in. [permalink]

Greetings Mystics Fans,

I hope everyone had a Wonderful Holiday Season! In our office we are working on renewing you for our ‘10 season. My colleagues, as well as myself, are working hard to make your Mystics experience a memorable one. Since the start of the New Year began, we have been pushing harder then ever to get you back for next season. You should be receiving phone calls, emails and much more to come from your Account reps. hoping to hear good news that you are renewing with us for ‘10. For those that have renewed already, we are going to have an AWESOME time. The Mystics are going to be a team to watch in 2010. As you may have heard, Head Coach Julie Plank announced that Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame member Marianne Stanley has joined our coaching staff. Stanley will be primarily responsible for coaching post players. Things are looking even better for this upcoming season.

With it being Renewal time for 2010…We need those of you who have not locked in for 2010, to please do so… Last season showed that we have improved in a lot of the areas that a lot of you said we were lacking. This team is one to watch. I am telling you this last season was awesome so you know what this season is looking to bring us closer to that ring baby. Everything times 10! You name it… times 10! That is why we need you signed up and ready to pass the ball in 2010! Because I would hate for you to miss out on all the action…times 10! You feel it! Don’t miss it! We still have 3 lovely payment options:

*3 Power Pay Payment: January 15th, February 15th and March 15th
50% Payment dates: 1st - 50% - January 15th - 2nd - 50% - March 15th
Pay in Full 100% Awesome Choice

On another note, I turned 29 last week and at the end of this month I will have been with the Mystics for 4 years and 5 seasons. It is amazing how time flies when you are really having fun.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MESSAGE GOING OUT TO THE JANUARY BABIES!

Me – Eboni, Erin, Nicole J., Cassaundra, Mikhail, Nathalie, Sarah, and Chris


Tuesday, January 12th - Julie Plank checks in with recaps from this past week's collegiate contests. [permalink]

Hello Mystic Fans!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, as I certainly enjoyed my time with family and friends. I must admit, 2010 has started “with a bang”…so much going on in our Mystics organization. I definitely feel that the focus is the 2010 season, as I have been busy finalizing our staff for the upcoming summer. This afternoon, we will announce a new member of our team. I am ecstatic (to say the least), as we are constantly looking for ways to make our team better, as we strive for that WNBA Championship in DC! Stay tune for the announcement on the Mystics website!

This week also begins the free agency process for all WNBA teams. If you have not done so, please read Angela Taylor’s last blog, as she did a great job of explaining the process. We are not wasting any time, as we will be busy on January 15th, entertaining a very talented prospect in DC! The best thing about the 2009 season is that we have created quite “the buzz” regarding our Mystic’s team. There has been a lot of interest from available players out there, so hopefully we can add a couple of pieces to our already talented group of players. Our current team established a culture that will be the trademark of the Washington Mystics in the future…hard-nosed, passionate, up tempo, defensive-oriented, fast breaking and unselfish. We will be a team that plays & has fun TOGETHER!

The beginning of January is an exciting time, as college teams begin their conference play. There were some GREAT games this past weekend, with a few upsets along the way. What a huge win for a young Auburn team, to go into Baton Rouge and defeat LSU, after Ali Smalley nails a 3 pt shot to send the game into OT. Miami knocked off a talented Florida State team, Kentucky upset Vanderbilt, and UCLA gave Stanford all they could handle in the second half, before the Cardinal pulled the game out. Maryland had a huge win last night in Charlottesville. Coach Frese and her staff had this young team ready, after losing their previous game to NC State pretty handily. Although the Terps are young, they are fun to watch! How about Bjork nailing 6 – 3 pointers in the game, and the flashy freshman Taylor posting a double-double with 10 pts and 11 assists. Kizer looks lean and mean, as her game keeps getting better and better. There will be some exciting days ahead in the Comcast Center in College Park!

Congratulations go out to Monica Wright for surpassing Dawn Staley’s scoring record at the University of Virginia. What an accomplishment for Monica, as she continues to prove why she will be a top prospect in this 2010 draft. She can do it all, and at both ends of the floor! Andy Landers & Georgia were impressive in their win over Florida on Sunday. One of only a few undefeated teams left, Georgia has a great mix of veterans and youngsters, as they are extremely talented and fun to watch. Point Guard Houts runs the show, as Robinson and Phillips dominate on the inside. It is amazing to watch Coach Landers and how passionate he is on the sidelines. No wonder he has sent 19 former players to the WNBA!

Next month, Stanford University will host the 20th anniversary of their first National Championship in 1990. What a special team that was, winning the title in Knoxville, Tennessee over a talented Virginia team, coached by Debbie Ryan. Many members of that team (including our very own Angela Taylor) and staff (myself & Renee Brown from the WNBA) will enjoy our great memories together out in Palo Alto. Stanford will host USC, as we all reminisce some of the best days of our careers. Perhaps another National Title will be in the near future for Tara VanDerveer and her current staff? Finally, I just wanted to shout out to all the current Mystics players. I know it is hard playing overseas, being away from family and friends, as they continue to improve their skills. As many of them said over the holidays, “the break was not long enough” and “thank God for the internet”! I hope they know how much I value their commitment to our organization. I tell them all the time, “I cannot wait for training camp to begin”! Only 103 days away…

Until next time,
Coach Plank


Monday, January 11th - Nicole Jones is almost back to normal. [permalink]

Happy Monday Mystics Fans!

To all that I have not spoken to since last year, “Happy New Year”. I hope that your holiday season was a wonderful one spent with your family and friends. It’s now the second week of January and officially one week before my birthday!

If you recall from my last blog entry, I suffered a pretty bad break to my right ankle which required surgery. Well, I’m back with a progress report for you. I’ve been heeding the instructions of my doctor since then and have pleasant news to share. It looks like I am still ahead of pace in my recovery. Santa saw fit for me to receive an early present at my last doctor’s appointment on the 23rd. I was able to come out of the boot and start wearing a regular sneaker. You may see this as minuscule but this is big news for me. I haven’t worn two matching shoes since October!

I still have a long way to go with physical therapy though. The exercises that I’ve been doing at home have helped, but it’s time for some professional assistance. People look at me and don’t understand what’s taking so long for me to recover. Figuring out how to walk again is more daunting than you may think. From my perspective, it’s not that bad. This is my first major injury that required surgery; this was my first surgery ever in life; though I work with the organization, I am not and have never been an athlete; I don’t have a personal trainer to work with me every day; and lastly, the original timetable had me not back to normal until April. Of course I don’t say this out loud. I just smile and say that “it’s the small accomplishments that matter and it can always be worse”. Trust me; no one’s more frustrated with my situation than me…well maybe my fiancé. But he keeps saying that he’s not.

Speaking of Mr. Man, I must take this time to thank him so very much for being my caretaker during this whole time. He has been simply WONDERFUL. So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Special thank yous go out to those in the office who helped me out while here as well. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

Of course no entry is complete without some mention of game tickets. The schedule is out and I hope that you’ve marked your calendar accordingly. The start of the season will be here before you know it and you don’t want to be the one that missed out. If you’ve already renewed or bought your seats – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. For those that have not – what are you waiting for? We offer full season plans, 6 game plans, vouchers, and discounts for groups of 15 or more. Stay tuned for more information on our various Theme Nights. I look forward to seeing you all again in May!

Take care,
Nikki J


Friday, January 8th - Liz Sellers looks forward to 2010. [permalink]

Hey Mystics Fans –

Happy New Year!

We are now eight days into 2010! I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and your new year has started off well. With the WNBA season falling in the summer, I was fortunate enough to take time over the holidays to travel and visit friends and family, many that I haven’t seen since last winter. Lots of home-cooked meals, football, and shopping were just a few highlights of my trip home. The big snowfall in DC kicked off my vacation and moved up north, dropping another 20 inches in NY. As a fan of snow, it was a treat to see it over the holidays.

With 2009 officially in the books, it’s now time to look forward to 2010. If you’ve made a resolution for the upcoming year, I wish you the best of luck. I make an attempt each year, whether it’s to stress less, spend more time with friends and family, or be more frugal but never know how well I truly did when December 31st rolls around. So for 2010, I’ve decided to take the “good” from 2009 and make it better.

With that said, its January Mystics Fans, which means we are four months and counting until Opening Night!

I look forward to next time…
Liz


Thursday, January 7th - Greg Bibb checks in. [permalink]

Hello and welcome to 2010. I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s celebration as we closed the book on the first decade of the new millennium. I’m sure everyone celebrated in their own special way. At my house, it was dinner and ice cream with friends followed by another ABC TV New Year’s spectacular. That’s what life has to offer with a two-year old and another little one on the way. I must say, New Year’s Day has become much more productive in recent years than in the past. I guess it is easier to get things done with a good night’s rest and a clear head.

So we now find ourselves in the first full week of January. This means the free agency period is underway in the WNBA. GM Angela Taylor and Head Coach Julie Plank will be busy talking to eligible players about becoming a Mystic during the second half of this month. There are a number of quality players who will be available. Time will tell how we do in this important part of our year.

On the business front, we finished our fiscal first quarter (October-December), ahead of last year’s pace in the ticket sales department. We also beat our first quarter goals. I think our improved on-court product coupled with a real solid work effort from the sales staff has us off to a great start. Let’s hope this trend continues.

We also continue to be busy on the sponsorship side of the business. We have signed our first new deal of 2010…details to come once the ink is dry on the contract. We also have made presentations to no fewer than 10 potential partners interested in having their corporate name on our jersey. I’m particularly excited about closing a jersey sponsorship deal and what this partnership will mean for our organization.

Finally, we continue to make progress on the development of a camp and clinic business. Our new Sr. Director of Business Development, Dave Deal, has signed 11 sites to host Mystics Camps this coming season and there are still more to come with a goal of 15-20 sites for our first summer.

In short, as we move closer and closer to the start of the 2010 season, I feel more and more positive about the work that is being done within our organization. We have a wonderful team of professionals determined to succeed on and off the court. I believe 2010 is going to be a memorable year indeed.

Bye, Bye Thursday Blog

Today marks the end of my regular Thursday blog submission. I would like to tell you that I’m leaving over a demand for more money for this award-winning space. Or, better yet, that demand to read this writing was so high that the traffic was crashing our site. Unfortunately, neither is true. Instead, I just thought it was time for change. Thus, we’ll free up Thursdays for you to hear from additional staff members and I will move to a designated space where I can post free of schedule restrictions. That means 24/7 Bibb, ready or not.


I look forward to staying connected with you through this new space which will launch sometime during the week of January 18. I may post once a day, twice a day, or not at all. The plan is there is no plan. When I have something interesting to share, I’ll share it. Although, I think it is safe to say you will be hearing from me more often than not. You will still be able to find me on the Mystics website, so look for me there in a few weeks.

Thus, I bid farewell to Thursdays and hello to the other six days of the week. I’ll see you in the new cyberspace soon. I have officially passed the ball for the last time.

Quote of the Week

“Don’t let emotions control your personality. Instead, let your personality control your emotions.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• The Steelers finished strong with a win at Miami, but when you lose to the Chiefs, Raiders and Browns in the same season, your chances of making the playoffs just aren’t good.
• I may like the Dallas Cowboys less than anyone walking the planet; however, I think they are the best team in the NFL right now. New stadium and a Super Bowl in the same season?
• Alabama beats Texas tonight to win the BCS Championship.
• My daughter has started ballet class. She is growing up too fast. Dating, driving and college seem to be right around the corner. Parenting really is long days and short years.
• I’m looking forward to a new semester of teaching at Georgetown. Class starts next Thursday night. I’m sure I will continue to learn more from the students than they will learn from me. That’s the beauty of teaching.

Until next time,
Go Mystics!


Wednesday, January 6th - Chuck Kacsur recaps his time home during the holidays. [permalink]

Wow, it’s my turn to blog again, so much has happened since my last entry. The holidays have come and gone, and I celebrated my birthday in the blizzard with a long run. Over a foot of snow kept most indoors, and virtually all cars off the road, creating a stillness (despite the heavy rate of snowfall) one rarely finds in a city. I also went indoor rock climbing since my last post. I hadn’t climbed in years, but I still managed to scale some hard routes. Scaling a 5.8 does not make me spider man, but it was nice to know after a long hiatus I could still handle a marked course and do more than just get up the wall.

I spent Christmas with my family in Pennsylvania, and got to see lots of old friends, some of which were back from overseas. One of my favorite things every year are the “end of year” lists where critics pick their favorite movies and albums; no doubt I will be adding some new songs to my playlist and movies to my queue. Here at Mystics HQ, our 2010 schedule being released means finalizing lots of brochures, flyers, and other collateral, which is all very exciting.

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, January 5th - Angela Taylor talks about free agency and the Broncos. [permalink]

Hey Mystics Fans,

Happy New Year! I hope that you & your family enjoyed a wonderful holiday. We are about 15 weeks away from the start of training camp and I honestly can’t wait to get started again. Lots of things to do before we get there, but the countdown has officially begun!!!

We are closing in on the start of the free agency period that opens on January 15th. I know that fans around the country are anxiously awaiting any announcements about player movement in the WNBA. For those of you that may not know the rules, here’s a quick synopsis:

Starting on January 1st, teams were able to send out Qualifying Offers to any free-agents that they currently have on their roster or to core a player. This basically allows us to have exclusive negotiating rights or right of first refusal with our reserved or restricted free-agents once the negotiating periods begins on the 15th. Starting on January 15th, teams are able to negotiate with players & their agents.

After a couple weeks of simple negotiations, players are officially able to sign a contract on February 1st. Restricted free-agents can sign an offer sheet from one of the other teams around the league and their current team then has a short period of time to match that offer or let the player go in free-agency. Unrestricted free-agents are free to negotiate with whatever teams that they are interested in with no obligation to their current team. Negotiations will be ongoing leading up to (and possibly during) training camp in April.

So needless to say, this is a very exciting time for coaches & basketball operations personnel around the league. Traditionally, there hasn’t been a significant amount of movement in free-agency in the WNBA. But there is no doubt that teams are able to improve their rosters or add to their depth at various positions. In many ways, it also allows you to gain more clarity into what direction you will take for the upcoming WNBA Draft in April as well.

As Coach Plank & I have stated throughout this off-season, we plan to be very active in free-agency. Washington, DC is a great place to be & a fantastic organization to play for, so we look forward to being able to discuss the merits with potential free-agents. At the same time, we also are continuing to invest a lot of time in developing the players on our roster. We feel very strongly about the talent we have on our roster and, after a long off-season where many of them are playing overseas and working on their individual games, feel that we will be a much improved team in 2010 as we compete for that Eastern Conference Championship.

So….make sure you stay tuned to washingtonmystics.com for any updates!!!

Before I go, let me congratulation Boise State Head Coach Chris Peterson, his players, and Bronco Nation on another great season! They finished 14-0 and with another exciting Fiesta Bowl victory. My parents were season ticketholders for BSU starting back in 1978, so I remember bundling up & sitting next to my brothers at games back in the day when the Broncos played in I-AA. Good times. It’s been great to watch as that program develops into a well-respected program around the country. Go Broncos!

Well, here’s to a great 2010 everyone. Happy New Year & I look forward to seeing you down at the Verizon Center this summer.

Go Mystics,
Angela


Monday, January 4th - Erin Mitchell looks forward to 2010. [permalink]

Happy New Year Mystics Fans!

Here we are in a New Year and new decade. I could start this blog off with stories of how I remember when Y2K was the big deal or even how excited I was to start off the fashion backwards decade of the 90’s, but I don’t want to give the rest of the sales staff any additional reason to remind me of my age. I will say that I am excited about 2010! I feel like this year is going to be full of excitement and adventure! I can’t wait. I don’t typically make New Year’s Resolutions, but now that I’m officially in my thirties I am going to start to make a better effort at living a healthier lifestyle. As many of you know I’m closer to the petite side of the weight spectrum, but that’s no reason to not work out and eat better. Most of my friends know that sweating is very low on my list of things that I like to do and I’m far from a gym-rat, so thanks to Santa bringing me a Wii (in the form of an early birthday present) I’ll be able to work out in the comforts of my own home. It’s probably not going to be as good of an experience as if I was in the gym, but give me credit for trying.

If you all can recall, last year I celebrated the big 3-0. So now that I’m only thirteen days away from the start of my 31st year of life I wanted to let all of you late twenty-something’s know that 30 is GREAT!! I had a blast personally and professionally. My older friends made a big deal out of me turning thirty and I must admit that it was one of those highlight years in my life. I won’t bore you with details, but I will say 2010 and my upcoming birthday have a lot to live up to.

I hope you all had a great celebration to start 2010. Don’t forget that it’s not too late to get 2010 Mystics tickets. Also, keep your eyes open for more information about our Women’s Networking Night that will be held this winter as well as Camp Day 2010. Can’t wait to see our Mystics faithful back at the Verizon Center this summer.

Take care & Happy New Year!
Erin


Friday, January 1st - Lauren Lafayette reflects on 2009 and her goals for the new year. [permalink]

Good Morning Mystics Fans,

Well, it’s that time of year again, New Year’s Eve. A time to reflect on everything that has happened during 2009 and how those experiences have shaped us so that we can do bigger and better things in 2010. Honestly, I cannot believe it is 2010 already. It seems like yesterday that the entire nation was obsessing over a little thing called Y2K. Many flocked to the stores in droves to stock up on items for this catastrophic event only to be surprised that the first moments of the year 2000 came and went much like any other year. While the coming of 2010 does not bring about such apprehension as the year 2000 once did, we all should look back and remember our personal highs and lows of the first decade of the 21st century; we should all use this recently acquired understanding of life to drive our personal goals and ambitions into the next decade and beyond.

So with this being said, I encourage all of you who decide to make New Year’s Resolutions to really get serious and stick to them this year. For all the smokers who vow to stop smoking each January 1st (only to fall off the bandwagon on January 23rd ), I need you to stick it out to the best of your ability and know that progress cannot be made without sacrifice. To all of those people who are looking to lose that problematic 20 pounds around your waistline, please stick with it and think about how great you will feel in the warmer months when you can fit into that bathing suit and escape from Metro DC to a sunny beach atmosphere for a weekend of fun and relaxation. Everyone else who has a personal goal in mind, please just remember patience and persistence makes perfect…or at least better.

Although I am not big on New Year’s Resolutions, (because I feel if you have something to work on in your life you should start to change the trend immediately) I think I will finally put the nasty habit of nail biting to rest. An avid biter since age 4 I have tried everything to stop with no avail. However, as I am reaching the quarter century mark in 2010, I feel I need to raise the bar for myself and give it a genuine effort this year. Additionally, I am a candy addict (Starburst, Sour Patch Kids, etc). So for the sake of my teeth, I think I am going to limit my candy intake substantially even though it truly saddens me that I will not longer have my nails or my chewy sugary snacks to help me through each day. Ultimately, I will have to find some way to manage.

What are you giving up for the New Year? Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and I hope that 2010 starts out well for everyone. Until next time…

Lauren