Most WNBA players spend their time during the NBA season overseas. But for the Mystics, two of the members of their 2018 team didn’t just stay stateside — they also joined the Wizards’ staff, even if it’s just for a temporary gig.
Kristi Toliver and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt were on the Wizards’ coaching and video staffs respectively during the Wizards’ training camp last week. You can see some of their highlights in the video below:
@KristiToliver: @WashMystics guard/@WashWizards coaching intern— WNBA (@WNBA) October 2, 2018
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt: @WashMystics guard/@WashWizards video intern.
Offseason internships after a #WNBAFinals run! #WatchMeWork pic.twitter.com/7KP44BUj8H
Toliver has been active in Wizards training camp as a coach where she is working with their guards, like John Wall, Bradley Beal, Tomas Satoransky, and Austin Rivers. And so far, the reviews have been positive, in particular from Wizards head coach (and Toliver fan) Scott Brooks.
This wasn’t Toliver’s first stint with the Wizards, since she also was an assistant coach for one of Washington’s NBA Summer League games last July in Las Vegas.
I haven’t found much on TRP opening up about her post-playing career plans. However, basketball involves much more than playing on the court or even being a coach on the floor. Roles like scouting and video analysis will also help add more perspective as Ruffin-Pratt continues her career.
There is some debate about whether WNBA teams should have owners who also own an NBA team. Some teams, like the New York Liberty, have been neglected by their owners. The Liberty are officially on sale for a year, but no suitable ownership group willing to keep them in New York has been found yet.
But in the Mystics’ case, ownership is fully invested into their success and the Wizards have no problems working with the Mystics’ players on a regular basis. Monumental Sports & Entertainment is a great example of an ownership group that is committed to its WNBA team and giving them opportunities for the NBA team as well.