Last year, the Washington Mystics became one of the latest teams to help crown Washington, DC the “District of Champions,” capturing the franchise’s first WNBA title in franchise history. Unfortunately, with the coronavirus still running rampant throughout the country, Mystics fans will have to wait a little longer to celebrate their championship team. Here are the latest updates from the Mystics as the team continues to prepare for the 2020 WNBA season.
Season Suspended/Celebrations Postponed
On April 3, the WNBA announced that the league had postponed the start of the 2020 season, which was supposed to kick off on Friday, May 15.
“We will get through this difficult time together and look forward to seeing our fans and defending our championship as soon as safely possible,” said Head Coach and General Manager Mike Thibault in the team’s press release. “In the meantime, we will continue to find other ways to stay connected as we encourage everyone to stay home and be safe.”
The delay of the season also means the postponement of the Mystics’ Championship Parade. The parade was scheduled to be held on Tuesday, May 12 through Penn Quarter, starting at the National Museum of Women and ending at Capital One Arena.
The team says they will continue to work with the WNBA, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and public health officials to come up with a makeup date for the celebration once social distancing restrictions are lifted.
Mystics Add an All-Star
Just two days before the WNBA Draft, the Mystics made a move for former MVP and seven-time all-star Tina Charles. The three-team trade sent guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, the team’s 2020 first-round pick and the 2021 second-round and third-round pick to the New York Liberty. The Mystics also sent their 2021 first-round pick to the Dallas Wings.
The trade reunites Charles with her former coach Thibault. The pair were last together with the Connecticut Suns from 2008 to 2012, the year Charles won the league’s MVP honor.
“Having coached Tina before in Connecticut, I know what a huge impact she can have on the game every single night,” said Thibault at a recent press conference. “Her ability to score inside and out will make our offense even more dangerous than in the past.”
According to ESPN, the 10-year vet signed a one-year, $175,000 contract before being traded to the Mystics. The former first-overall pick joins a team full of offensive star power, including 2019 MVP Elena Delle Donne and 2019 Finals MVP Emma Meesseman.
The WNBA Draft Goes Virtual
Like many events around the country, the WNBA went virtual for the first time in the league’s history, skipping the usual big celebration with prospects and turning to live feeds to show real-time reactions of players during their special moments.
During this historic event, the Mystics selected Jaylyn Agnew and Alecia “Sug” Sutton, taking Agnew with the 24th overall pick and Sutton with the 36th overall pick.
Agnew finished her career as a Creighton Bluejay averaging 15.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. She topped off her shortened senior season being named the 2020 Big East Player of the Year.
Sutton comes to DC from the Texas Longhorns following her senior year, averaging 8.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in over 130 career games. The rookie will be reunited on the court with former Texas teammate Ariel Atkins, the 2018 first-round pick for the Mystics.
Relive the 2019 WNBA Finals
For those truly missing WNBA action, fear not. NBC Sports Washington is airing the entire 2019 WNBA Finals series Sunday, April 26, starting with Game 1 at noon and ending with Game 5 at 8 p.m.
Mystics players Atkins and Delle Donne and associate head coach Eric Thibault will also be joining the replay action, live tweeting the games from the Mystics Twitter account. Atkins will start things off with Game 1, Thibault will live-tweet Game 3 and Delle Donne will round things up for Game 5.
Don’t worry if you can’t catch Sunday’s replay because Monumental Sports Network is also making both the Mystics’ 2019 Semifinals and Finals series free for fans until Thursday, April 30.
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