Many of the Mystics’ players are overseas including forward Emma Meesseman who plays for Russian powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg. On Friday, UMMC played Game 2 of their series against Latvian team TTT Riga of their quarterfinal series with a 1-0 series lead. They won the game, 77-55 by holding Riga to just 28.1 percent shooting from the field and 22.9 percent shooting inside the three point line!
As for Meesseman, she shined in this game, scoring a EuroLeague career-high 27 points on 11 of 16 shooting. You can see her as well as her teammates’ highlights in the video below. As you will see below, her footwork around the paint is
arguably the best in the world.
Meesseman is averaging 11.3 points and 6 rebounds per game in EuroLeague Women play for UMMC while she is averaging 13.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in Russian PBL play. These numbers are low in absolute terms but Meesseman only plays about 20 to 25 mintues a game on a team that features WNBA All-Star players like Brittney Griner, Kayla McBride, Jonquel Jones, Courtney Vandersloot, Spanish star Alba Torrens and Sparks rookie and Russian prodigy Maria Vadeeva.
When a team has this much talent, there isn’t much need for Meesseman or anyone on UMMC to play 30-35 minutes a game. In fact, they are 17-1 in the PBL with Meesseman playing just 10 games in domestic competition and a combined 15-1 in EuroLeague Women play where she played in all but one game. There’s a good chance that Meesseman and UMMC will win the continental title once again next month as well.
Once this is all done, I just wonder how she fits in the Mystics’ plans. We have concurred that she is best used as a reserve player behind Elena Delle Donne at power forward due to the disruptions of international commitments. That’s unfortunate in my opinion because of the WNBA’s inflexibility with continental tournaments.
But at the same time, Meesseman is good enough to be a WNBA franchise player herself. She’s still just 25 years old and is at least a couple years away from her prime! I’m going to keep saying it until the WNBA changes the rules. But for the love of God, PLEASE BREAK FOR INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS SO WE CAN SEE THIS VERSION OF MEESSEMAN IN D.C.!
For more on EuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women, FIBA Europe’s second-tier women’s basketball tournament, head on over to Swish Appeal, SB Nation’s women’s basketball site.