There aren’t too many times when I’m going to go out of my way to post about non Wizards or non Mystics topics. But this is going to have to be one of those times.
As you know, Mystics guard Bria Hartley ... I mean .... New York Liberty guard Bria Hartley gave birth to her son last January. But to this point, we haven’t seen pics of him on social media just yet.
Until today, Valentine’s Day 2017 when she showed Bryson Noah to the world:
Baby pics are so adorable!!!!
Knowing how the internet’s like, everything stays online forever — especially on a site like this. So one day, I’m pretty sure that Bryson’s reading this post when mom lectures him about life as a professional athlete.
Or maybe, it’s just because he found his baby picture online and is wondering why the heck a basketball blogger for ANOTHER TEAM wrote about his mom all the time!
To that end, I’ve written a note to Bryson in advance, for the time when he’s old enough to read and understand it all:
When you read this one day a decade from now, or in the 2030’s or 2040’s, I hope you’ll get to experience firsthand that your mom is one of the greats in college basketball, where she was a two-time All-American at UConn. Before Breanna Stewart was the “Queen of Storrs,” your mom and Stefanie Dolson held that title. They were the ones who kept Stewie in line. Pretty cool, huh?
After her college career, your mom was drafted by the Seattle Storm, only to find herself in the nation’s capital after a shrewd trade by GM and Head Coach Mike Thibault. On top of all that, it just so happened that Stefanie Dolson was also drafted to D.C. Dolson was known for her eccentricity, dancing skills, and purple hair. Stef made an All-Star team in 2015 while she played in Washington, but what about your mom when she was here?
You see, she made this play just a few games into her rookie season when people were saying, “Darn, Bria Hartley of the Washington Mystics broke Maggie Lucas’ ankles!” instead of “Bria Hartley of the UConn Huskies destroyed that Penn State player on the court!” In other words, that’s when everyone knew she was a pro.
Hell, she gets retweets for the All-Star Game years later. It’s that big! Or if you want to celebrate any great basketball plays, that may be the only GIF you need.
Bria Hartley @Breezyyy14 #WNBABallot, because we can't wait to see her do this again pic.twitter.com/9B0Szj1FAZ— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) July 4, 2015
No, “The Crossover” wasn’t the only play your mom made. She was still an important contributor for the Mystics through 2016 where she was able to fool more defenders — even those who also went to UConn. Multiple UConn alums. Crossovers are one of my favorite types of basketball highlights to watch. So your mom was one of my favorite Mystics players.
I know you’ll read that your mom and Kia Vaughn were traded to the Liberty right before the Mystics got Elena Delle Donne. Though I have high hopes for what’s ahead, I’m still bummed that your mom won’t be part of the Mystics in this new era we’re in.
That doesn’t mean that your mom’s on a bad team. The Liberty right now has some great young guards like Sugar Rodgers, another MVP in Tina Charles, and Kia Vaughn’s there too. And your mom probably looks forward to have a chance to play close to her hometown in Long Island, make an impact there, and show you her stomping grounds.
After all, playing close to home is one of the very reasons why D.C. sports fans are so happy about Delle Donne playing here. And why they hate Kevin Durant for spurning the Wizards and playing for the Warriors instead. You’ll find plenty of content for that!
In closing your mom was one of the many players who represented the transformation of the Mystics franchise from a poorly run to a very well run organization over the past four years. That starts from ownership to the front office, the players, and the fans. It’s a cliché, I know, but it’s really true in the world of sports fandom.
Wishing you success in the days and years ahead from Washington, D.C.,
Albert and all Mystics and D.C. sports fans everywhere
And to Bria, thanks for being part of the Mystics organization for the last three years. Though I’m sad that you are no longer in D.C., I’m happy that you represented the Mystics well as they rebuilt themselves from a team with very little going for it before you arrived — to one with a young core and a legitimate window to contend in the near future.
In New York, you’ll be close to home, and you’ll have a great chance to play there in your prime. I can’t fault you for it because three current Mystics players: Elena Delle Donne, Kristi Toliver, and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt will get to do just that over the next few years. You will also get to play alongside some other great players there as well, like Sugar Rodgers (who had a Tayler Hill-esque season last year) and 2012 MVP Tina Charles, who like you, is a Mike Thibault protegé.
Finally, you have some good coaches over there too, like head coach Bill Laimbeer who won three championships with the now-Dallas Wings franchise. But I think you’ll also benefit greatly from Katie Smith, who has had a storied career with multiple teams. She even played here for D.C. back in 2010! Not too many WNBA players get to have a coach with the experience Smith brings to the table.
I hope you enjoy great success in New York! Just don’t break Tayler Hill’s, TRP’s, Meesse’s, or EDD’s ankles and we’re all good. :)
Thank you for three great years in D.C. Bria!