On Sunday, the WNBA released their “W25” or their top 25 players of all time. Of the players on the list, three of them wore Washington Mystics uniforms at some point in their careers. Two of them are current Mystics players Elena Delle Donne and Tina Charles.
It is no surprise that Delle Donne and Charles are part of this list. Delle Donne is the 2013 Rookie of the Year, a two-time WNBA MVP from 2015 for the Chicago Sky and 2019 for the Mystics when they won the championship. Delle Donne was also on the USA Basketball women’s national team for the 2016 Olympics and 2018 World Cup cycles where the Americans won the Gold Medal. She has been a member of the All-WNBA team more often than not and is one of the league’s most recognizable superstars.
For Charles, she was the 2010 Rookie of the year and the 2012 WNBA MVP when she played for the Connecticut Sun. Currently this season, Charles is leading the WNBA in scoring at 24.8 points for game for Washington. Charles has also been part of the USA Basketball women’s national team for three Olympic (2012, 2016, 2020) and three World Cup (2010, 2014, 2018) cycles, winning a Gold Medal every time.
Katie Smith is the third W25 player who once wore a Mystics uniform. She played one season for Washington in 2010 when the Mystics were first place in the Eastern Conference for the first time. Her best WNBA seasons however were with the Minnesota Lynx (1999-2004) and the Detroit Shock (now Dallas Wings) from 2005-09. Smith would later play for the Seattle Storm and New York Liberty. She averaged 13.4 points per game in her WNBA career from 1999-2013. Smith was also on the USA Basketball women’s national team for three Olympics (2000, 2004, 2008) and three World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006), winning a gold medal every time except for the 2006 World Cup where the Americans won the bronze.
Since retiring, Smith, became an assistant coach for the Liberty (2014-17), the head coach of the Liberty (2018-19) and now the lead assistant coach for the Lynx (2020-present).
Congratulations to Delle Donne, Charles and Smith for being named part of the WNBA’s Top 25 player list.