Most of the Mystics’ players are stateside this offseason. Whether it’s because of rehab (Tayler Hill) or because it’s a ritual (Elena Delle Donne), there seem to be more players than normal not playing overseas in Europe, Australia, or Asia.
Two Mystics players: Natasha Cloud and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt are stateside, but they aren’t just doing drills. They also played an exhibition game last Saturday for the Washington Fusion of the Global Mixed Gender Basketball League (GMGB) at Howard University. They played the Chicago Vikings and won 118-91.
The GMGB hopes to kickoff officially this summer or fall with eight teams, according to The Washington Informer. For now, it is a league best known for having a New Orleans team owned by rapper Master P. There are currently five teams, including the Fusion and Vikings.
In a GMGB game, there are two teams playing five on five basketball. But there are some twists involved:
- The first and third quarters of the games have teams of three men and two women. The second and fourth quarters have three women and two men.
- When women take and make a three point shot, it is four points, not three. That could be an “equalizer” of sorts against a man who is just great at dunking the basketball.
From the Informer, Ruffin-Pratt made a good number of four point shots to give Washington the lead at the end. I hope I can see TRP develop a sharp shooting stroke this summer, but I digress.
So who is on the Washington Fusion? There is a mix of players with NBA, WNBA, and other professional experience. The most notable former NBA players on the list include Khalid El-Amin, who played on UConn’s 1998-99 national championship team and Marquis Daniels and
The most notable women’s players include Tiffany Bias, who played three seasons in the WNBA (2014-16) and Tamara Moore who played six WNBA seasons in the mid 2000’s. Also, Brittany Jackson played for Tennessee in the mid-2000’s and was former NFL player Albert Haynesworth’s girlfriend. The head coach is Nikki Teasley, who played for the Mystics in 2006-07.
I’ve always been intrigued on how a co-ed or mixed gender basketball team and league would be like. And I wonder how it could be if we just had teams of NBA and WNBA players on the same court. It’s something I would like to see as part of NBA or WNBA All-Star Weekend. With the Big-3 basketball league coming off a successful first season, I certainly think there’s potential for a league like this to work out as well. Let us know what you think of the concept of mixed-gender basketball in the comments below.