MYSTICS SIGN BEARD

All-Star Guard Inks New Contract with Washington

Washington, D.C. – Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) all-star guard Alana Beard has signed a four-year contract with the Washington Mystics, General Manager Linda Hargrove announced today. Per company policy, terms of the contract will not be released.

"We are thrilled to be able to sign Alana to a long-term contract. She has made her impact felt ever since her rookie season as she led the Mystics to the playoffs and has been an intricate part of our franchise since the day she was selected in the draft,” said Hargrove. “Her commitment and leadership will be instrumental as we strive to win a championship.”

Beard was selected by the Mystics in the first round (second overall) of the 2004 WNBA draft. Since her rookie year, she has been named to three consecutive All-Star teams (2005, 2006, 2007). A defensive specialist, Beard has been a permanent fixture on the league’s All-defensive teams. She received all-defensive second team honors in 2004, 2005 and 2007. In 2006, she was named to the All-defensive first team as well as the All-WNBA second team. She finished the 2007 campaign ranked fourth in scoring (18.8) and steals per game (1.94).

“I'm extremely excited about the organization and where we are headed. Our goal every year is to win a WNBA championship and I can rightfully say that we are headed in that direction,” stated Beard. “The city of D.C. and our fans have been unbelievable thus far and I want nothing more than to win for the fans and this organization. D.C. is where I wanted to be from the beginning and where I plan to stay for many years to come.”

A 5-11 guard from Duke University, Beard is the women’s team’s all-time leading scorer with 2,687 career points. She has won the State Farm Wade Trophy as the National Player of the Year and has garnered honors such as the Associated Press and the USBWA National Player of the Year awards.

The Washington Mystics will tip off the 2008 season on Saturday, May 17th, on the road against the Indiana Fever. Washington will host the club’s home opener on Sunday, May 25th against the four-time WNBA Champion, Houston Comets at 4:00 p.m. Season tickets for the 2008 season are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Mystics Sales Office at 1-877-DC-HOOP1.