Congratulations to all of our school-age readers for finishing up a big school year! And if you're a parent reading this, good luck keeping the kids busy and engaged over the next couple months. :)
Here are the top stories and things going on this week in the world of D.C. pro hoops:
1. Mystics hold a traveling practice and camp at Millbrook High School in Winchester, Virginia
On Tuesday, the Mystics traveled to Millbrook High School to give a youth basketball clinic where they taught young boys and girls fundamentals from players who are playing at the highest level in the pros. The camp was sponsored by the Winchester Storm, a semi-pro team that plays in the APBL (American Professional Basketball League) and the Frederick County Parks and Recreation Department. Monumental Network's Dan Nolan has a video recap above, and here's another column from the Mystics' website about it as well.
Under most circumstances, I'd consider this to be a run-of-the-mill camp because it's not uncommon to see a professional team give a clinic. And even though Jake would like to remind you that he went to Millbrook -- as well as Denver Nuggets guard Erick Green (who spent three years here and then transferred to Paul VI) -- I'd like to remind you that every Mystics player and coach traveled from Washington, D.C. to WINCHESTER, WHICH IS IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY FOR GOD'S SAKES!
Here's a map to show you how far they traveled from the nation's capital to the home of the Apple Blossom Festival:
That's impressive because many, if not most people in the immediate area wouldn't call Winchester, or the Shenandoah Valley, as the Washington, D.C. area. Even if it's part of the Baltimore-Washington Combined Statistical Area, it's over 70 miles away. The kids also showed their appreciation that the team would travel this far. Makayla Firebaugh, a twelve-year-old participant, said this in the column on the Mystics' site:
I thought it was pretty cool that the Mystics would even come here because we’re not that big of a town, so for them to come here really means a lot.
This camp was definitely a success. The kids got to interact with players on a professional basketball team, and that team probably traveled close to two hours one way just to get there. Plenty of pro sports teams give camps at local schools, but let's be honest. They're probably not driving that far to do such a thing. If I was a Winchester-area kid at that camp and wasn't a Mystics fan before, I sure would be now.
2. Mystics play the Shock tonight at home, play the Fever on the road Saturday
Staying on the Mystics, they are currently 3-1, second in the Eastern Conference. However, that's because the 4-1 Connecticut Sun defeated the Seattle Storm 79-58 this past Tuesday on the road while Washington has been sitting tight.
The Mystics will play the Tulsa Shock tonight at 7 p.m. One half of their "House of Guards" backcourt. Skylar Diggins will play but Odyssey Sims will not due to injury. Tulsa is 4-1, tied for first in the West with the Minnesota Lynx and on a four-game winning streak. Washington will follow that up by playing the 2-4 Indiana Fever on Saturday at 7 p.m.
I predict that Washington will split these two games where they will lose tonight to Tulsa, but they should be able to defeat Indy.
3. Garrett Temple picks up his 2015-16 player option
This move wasn't unexpected, but the reserve guard will now earn at least one million dollars next season now that he is entering his sixth year in the NBA. Jake explains more here.
4. Ted Leonsis gives his appreciation for Paul Pierce
The owner gave an interview to Monumental Network's/DC101's Elliot Segal. In the interview, Leonsis tells all about his appreciation about what The Truth has done for the Wizards this past season. He was most impressed by Pierce's locker room presence, and he's a fan of that "I called game" quote. The video's below or click here.
Segal also asked Leonsis about how the Wizards' and Capitals' second round playoff runs were in another video which is embedded below or click here:
5. Gilbert Arenas destroys his cars over a Netflix account spat with Laura Govan ... last year
Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog has more details. I get that Arenas has a lot of dough but is breaking a car with a cinder block worth it over a Netflix password? Really? Then again, this is Gilbert Arenas being Gilbert Arenas I suppose.
6. Pierce plays "Sink It or Swim" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
He got into a shootout with the host during a segment. The first one (Pierce or Kimmel) who makes a shot gets the other dunked in the water. Pierce won, but he also got wet in the end. Here's the YouTube video:
7. Two players on the Golden State Warriors 2014-15 NBA championship team were former players on the Washington Wizards
The most notable Warrior who was on the Wizards is backup point guard Shaun Livingston. In the Finals, he averaged points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2 assists while playing 20.1 minutes. Livingston had two stints in D.C., most notably at the end of the 2009-10 season after Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler were traded in the wake of Gungate. During that stint, he averaged 9.2 points and 4.5 assists, where he revived his pro career after suffering a gruesome knee injury in 2007. SB Nation.com's Rodger Sherman has a running blog on how Livingston thrived despite that nasty injury and ultimately became a key piece on an NBA championship team.
Leandro Barbosa is the second Warriors player who also was in a Wizards uniform, technically. He and veteran center Jason Collins were involved in the deal for Jordan Crawford. While Collins contributed in a reserve role, Barbosa never played for the Wizards because he was recovering from a torn left ACL at the time.
Enjoy your weekends and the official start to summer!