Mystics Honor All-Time Team
August 19th was a special day for the Washington Mystics.
A season-long initiative to celebrate the All-Time Mystics team was culminated with a halftime ceremony to honor the five players, voted in by the fans, as the All-Time Team members.
The five selected were Crystal Langhorne, Vicky Bullet, Murriel Page, Nikki McCray, and Chamique Holdsclaw.
Chamique Holdsclaw Introduced at Halftime
Langhorne was on double duty as she not only took part in the halftime ceremony, but also scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds in the game against the Sky.
“It meant a lot, I’m so young and to be on that team, just to be included with so many great players, I was really honored,” said Langhorne.
While the day had plenty of planned excitement, what made the day even more special was that this was without a doubt the game of the year for the Mystics.
After the Mystics led for much of the second half, the Sky surged ahead late in the fourth quarter and the result looked to be an all too familiar one for the Mystics this season.
But, trailing by three in the final seconds, Matee Ajavon took matters into her own hands and hit a tough, off-balanced three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in regulation which sent the game into overtime.
Then in overtime, the Mystics found themselves down once again with the clock winding down, and this time it was Jasmine Thomas who stepped up with a clutch three to give the Mystics a 73-71 lead with 16 seconds left. That would be enough to seal the deal as the Mystics would go on to win it, 75-71.
A great win on any day, but doing this in front of the All-Time Team meant a lot to the players.
“It was a great thing, it shows appreciation to the women that were here before us, to get this win in front of them it means a lot to us,” said Ajavon who led the Mystics with 22 points.
The current Mystics were given a pre-game speech from the All-Time Team members, which went a long way, especially for the young players.
“It felt great to have the All-Time Team talk to us before the game and it was great to see the people who came before us and allowed us to be here playing,” said Jasmine Thomas, who answered the bell with arguably the biggest shot of her career to seal this win.
Even Head Coach Trudi Lacey saw the benefit of having the legends of the past speak to the current team.
“It was refreshing, it gave us a chance to reflect on the past and the people that have come before us to give us this opportunity and it allows the past and the present to connect. I thought they were very inspirational in talking to our players and giving some extra motivation, so we should ask them to come back often.”
The All-Time Team members, who traveled back to Verizon Center for this special occasion, had to be happy to see such a classic game, but they spent the first part of their day discussing their playing days.
The four former Mystics took time at a panel before the game to talk about what it meant to be named to this All-Time Team.
All of them made it a point of emphasis to mention the great fan base they played for when they played and it became clear that the group knew the fans were the backbone of this franchise.
“The thing I remember the most were the fans. When we first got here, just getting out in the community, and the community really welcomed and embraced us,” said the newly inducted Women’s Hall-of-Famer Nikki McCray.
“The fans were always great here, that’s why I played the game, I played for our fans. When I was here, I wanted to make sure that when they came to the gym they saw the excitement, because of them that’s the reason we are able to play” echoed the ‘Original Mystic’ Murriel Page.
“D.C. is a big sports town, this city to this day still embraces me. This is like my second home, the fans have been tremendous from day one and everyone has been supportive. It has been a blessing,” said the former #1 pick Chamique Holdsclaw.
It was a treat to have these former teammates back together reminiscing about their glory days and sharing some great memories about their time together and what it was like playing for the fans of D.C.
From the game on the court to the All-Time Team ceremony, this was truly a day to remember for anyone, past or present, associated with the Washington Mystics.