KATIE SMITH SIGNS WITH MYSTICS
Washington, D.C. –– Washington Mystics Vice President and General Manager Angela Taylor announced today that three-time Olympian and perennial all-star guard, Katie Smith has signed with the team.
“This is a very exciting day for the Washington Mystics organization. Katie Smith is the most prolific scorer in U.S. professional women’s basketball history and will bring invaluable experience and competitiveness to our roster,” stated Taylor. “She has been a huge success everywhere she’s been and as we look to make our vision of bringing a WNBA Championship to Washington, DC a reality. We are ecstatic that someone with Katie’s pedigree is looking forward to being part of our championship journey.”
An 11-year WNBA veteran, Smith started her professional basketball career in 1997 with the Columbus Quest of the American Basketball League (ABL). She helped lead her team to an ABL Championship in 1998. In two seasons, she made consecutive all-star appearances and in 1998 she was named to the All-ABL First Team.
Smith joined the WNBA in 1999 when she was assigned to the Minnesota Lynx. During her time with the Lynx, Smith set numerous scoring records such as the then WNBA single-season records for scoring average (23.1) and points (739), and three-point field goal attempts (240). In 2002, she led the Lynx in minutes played, field goals (162) and field goal attempts (401). Smith and the Lynx earned a post season berth in 2003 before losing to eventual WNBA Champions, Los Angeles Sparks. Smith has the distinction of setting a WNBA record for total regular season games played (36) when she was traded from the Minnesota Lynx (23) to the Detroit Shock (13) in 2005.
As a guard with Detroit, Smith set a Shock franchise record for most three-point field goals made (55) and attempted (155) in a season. She helped Detroit earn a second WNBA Championship by leading the team during the playoffs in assists (40), three pointers made (20) and three pointers attempted (50) and finishing second on the team in scoring (14.7). In 2007, Smith became the first woman to score 6,000 points in professional basketball. She currently is the all-time leading scorer in American women’s professional basketball history with 6,879. In 2008, the Shock earned another WNBA Championship with Smith leading the way with 21.7 points per game during the Finals series. She was named the 2008 Finals MVP. In a career that spans over a decade, Smith averages include 15.7 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game and 2.8 assists per game.
A three time Olympian, Smith was a member of three USA Basketball Women’s National teams that captured gold medals in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics. She was named the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year in 2008. A graduate of the Ohio State University, Smith was the 1996 Big Ten Player of the Year.
“I am really excited to be joining the Washington Mystics who are hungry for a championship. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the ownership group, coaches and staff and I feel that the transition will be a smooth one,” said Smith. “I also look forward to playing in front of some of the best fans of the WNBA.”
The Mystics also re-signed restricted free agent Guard Kristen Haynie. Washington acquired Haynie with the sixth pick in the dispersal draft on December 14, 2009. In 2009, Haynie averaged a career high 5.2 points per game and 2.0 assists per game. She also shot a career best 83.3% from the free throw line. She finished the 2009 campaign ranked fourth in steals per 40 minutes (3.41.)
The Washington Mystics made a return to the playoffs in 2009. Season, group tickets and six packs for the 2010 season are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Mystics Sales Office at 1-877-DC-HOOP1 or by visiting the Mystics web site at www.washingtonmystics.com.
The Washington Mystics organization is dedicated to providing affordable entertainment, serving as an impactful community partner and maintaining accessibility to positive female role models. Supported by passionate fans, the Mystics are elite, hardworking athletes continually striving to win a Championship.