The Washington Mystics are the reigning WNBA Champions! And they can thank Emma Meesseman, this season’s WNBA FINALS MOST VALUABLE PLAYER for SEALING THE DEAL!
The forward averaged 17.8 points per game in the series against the Connecticut Sun. Meesseman averaged 21.6 points per game in the 2019 WNBA Playoffs as a whole.
As one of the first people who had the “AUDACITY” to write her in the SAME SENTENCE as Los Angeles Sparks forward CANDACE PARKER, Minnesota Lynx forward MAYA MOORE and especially then-Chicago Sky forward ELENA DELLE DONNE, all I can say is...
TOLD ‘YA SO!!!!!
Okay, maybe I’m just bragging a bit. too. much.
But in all honesty, Meesseman’s performance in the WNBA Playoffs and her Finals MVP award finally, FINALLY vindicates her place as a star in this league.
Outside the United States, Meesseman’s Finals MVP award is an even bigger deal. She is the first non-American winner of this award since Lauren Jackson did it for the Seattle Storm in 2010. But Jackson was from Australia, an established world power. Meesseman is from Belgium, a country that never had much success in basketball until very recently.
Furthermore, Meesseman is also the first sixth woman to win the WNBA Finals MVP Award. EVER!
For much of the past two seasons, Mystics fans and WNBA fans alike have grown frustrated with her absences here in the United States due to her commitments to the Belgium women’s national team. She grew a lot as the face of basketball in her country, especially as they won the bronze medal in EuroBasket Women 2017, advanced to the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup semifinals and qualified for a 2020 Olympic berth in Women’s EuroBasket this year. She also won the 2018 EuroLeague Women’s Final Four MVP.
Though that growth was important for her and her teams abroad, we never got to see that side of Meesseman here with the Mystics. And it was unclear if we really would since Washington improved a lot on their own without her.
Meesseman was the Mystics’ starting power forward for most of her career before missing the 2018 WNBA season to work with the Belgian team. But when Meesseman returned this season, she lost that spot, especially at a time when she was entering her prime. Meesseman is just 26-years old.
Ultimately, that didn’t seem to matter. Meesseman always managed to play her fair share of minutes, especially during the playoffs. When opposing teams began over-focusing on Elena Delle Donne, she routinely made them pay. Washington needed a second superstar talent alongside Delle Donne to win the championship this season.
Most WNBA teams in the Mystics’ position would have to trade or sign a free agent to get a second superstar talent. But all Washington needed was Meesseman, their longest-tenured player, to return.
And now, Meesseman can FINALLY have that last laugh.