The Washington Mystics are already beginning their WNBA championship celebration. However, they are doing so without Finals MVP Emma Meesseman and reserve guard Kim Mestdagh. Both are Belgian citizens and went back home to take a short break before playing for their teams overseas. Meesseman plays for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia. Mestdagh plays for Flammes Carolo Basket in Ardennes, France.
So how are they doing and what are they up to?
They were welcomed back to the airport upon arrival!
Meesseman and Mestdagh retuned to Belgium last weekend where they were greeted in Zaventem where Brussels Airport is.
Sporza, a Dutch language Belgian sports network was on site to welcome them back as they arrived.
In their interviews, Meesseman was her normal, humble self. She consistently maintained that Belgium is her favorite vacation destination. And she’ll have some fries, a BELGIAN staple now that the WNBA season is over.
Mestdagh had stronger words about Meesseman and her place in the women’s basketball hierarchy.
“Hopefully everyone now realizes how special Emma is because I don’t know how others would do. Emma showed how special she is. She’s a world-class player.”
Ieper will hold a championship celebration for them on Sunday!
Move out of the way Amsterdam! And sorry, Brussels. But last Sunday, lEPER, BELGIUM, a city of just about 35,000 people became the most vibrant area in the Benelux!
That’s because Meesseman and Mestdagh came home and were given a heroes’ welcome by the city, according to HLN.be (in Dutch).
Besides being the hometown of Meesseman and Mestdagh, Ieper (or Ypres in French) is home to some big battles during World War I. It’s the site of the Menin Gate and the Flanders Fields Museum. I also hope there are a lot of great restaurants and breweries where Meesseman and Mestdagh got their favorite batch of “frietjes” and trappist beers on the house!
Meesseman was given a standing ovation at UMMC’s road game against Castors Braine!
The EuroLeague Women season starts in October and runs through April if a team wins the championship. It doesn’t care for European breaks.
Belgian club, Castors Braine, hosted UMMC in their first game on Wednesday. So for Meesseman, it’s gotta be a rough transition of sorts. One day, you win the Finals MVP and in less than a week, you gotta suit up again?
Not so fast. UMMC is a bit more flexible with players than you may think. Meessseman didn’t play for them in an 87-79 win. However, she was there for a standing ovation pregame!
It is unfortunate that the D.C. area couldn’t fully celebrate the Mystics’ 2019 WNBA championship without two members, including the Finals MVP.
But if you’re wondering whether Meesseman and Mestdagh feel left out of the spotlight, the good news is that they appear to be doing just fine. They’re just celebrating everything at home.