The Mystics haven't made much noise in the WNBA offseason. At least so far. But their players have.
UMMC Ekaterinburg, a Russian team that plays in the PBL and FIBA EuroLeague Women announced on Wednesday that they have acquired Emma Meesseman by buying out her contract from Sparta&k Vidnoje, the team she started the season for.
In another report from Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Meesseman stated in Dutch that "the [UMMC] deal is for this season. After the European campaign, I will then travel to America in mid-May to start my fourth season in the WNBA for the Washington Mystics."
Additional reports have mentioned that Meesseman will replace UMMC reserve power forward Sandrine Gruda. Therefore, I'm assuming that she will be a bench player for UMMC.
Who will Meesseman's teammates include? Since I mentioned that they are a powerhouse, a couple WNBA superstars like Phoenix Mercury point guard Diana Taurasi and center Brittney Griner don the starting lineup. In addition, Los Angeles Sparks point guard Kristi Toliver and Atlanta Dream forward Sancho Lyttle are also on the roster. Finally, Mercury head coach Sandy Brondello is an assistant on the team.
All of the players I mentioned are WNBA All-Stars. Emma Meesseman is an All-Star too by the way. And now she's on a team that is women's basketball's equivalent of F.C. Barcelona of La Liga in the European soccer world.
TL;dr - this news confirms what we've been saying for quite some time: Meesseman is a damn good player.
Congratulations to Meesseman since she's now on a big time European team. We'll have more analysis on what the move means for the Mystics later in the week.