On Monday, the Washington Mystics held a press session featuring Head Coach Mike Thibault and Tina Charles. With the announcement of the USA Women's Olympics Basketball Team, a major part of the discussion was the Olympics.
Coach Thibault started off discussing the addition of Megan Gustafson. A star player at the University of Iowa, Gustafson was selected by the Dallas Wings in the second round (17th overall) in the 2019 WNBA Draft. She was released, but quickly resigned by the Wings. After two seasons with Dallas, she was a free agent until the Mystics signed her.
Coach Thibault talked about why the Mystics signed her, including her strengths. He also explained the rules and guidelines of signing players to replace injured players.
Talk turned to the Olympics. Tina Charles and Ariel Atkins were named to the USA Olympics team.
Charles, the first overall pick in the 20210 WNBA Draft, will be playing in her third Olympics. A star at UConn, Charles started with the Connecticut Sun (2010-13), then moved on to the New York Liberty (2014-2019), before joining the Mystics in 2020.
Atkins starred at the University of Texas, before being selected by the Mystics in the first round (7th overall) of the 2018 WNBA Draft. This will be her first time playing in the Olympics.
Lastly, Coach Thibault discussed Elena Delle Donne and her recovery. While it might be taking longer than anyone wanted, Thibault isn't really surprised. The long break for the Olympics will work in EDD's favor.
Charles also talked a lot about the Olympics. She expressed her emtion in making the team and advice she would give others on the team. She also talked a bit about her own season.
The Mystics are 6-6, in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. They are only 1.5 games out of first place. They have won two straight and four of their last five games. Tonight they place the Seattle Storm, who at 12-2 lead the entire WNBA.
The interview session can be found at On the Beat With the Washington Mystics 06/21/2021. Also, check back here for my recurring coverage of the WNBA.