The Washington Mystics are in the middle of their offseason. WNBA free agency starts next week, provided that the new CBA is passed in the coming days. Let’s check in on the players who are playing on European teams
Kim Mestdagh, Flammes Carolo Basket (France)
It isn’t often when I start off with a player who’s the 12th woman on the roster. But the Washington Mystics, intentionally or unintentionally made the past few days “Kim Mestdagh Week,” or “La Semaine de Kim Mestdagh” for our Francophone readers.
It's a Mestdagh Monday to kick-off Kim's Week. pic.twitter.com/UuFvHFsSVY— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) January 6, 2020
Before Mestdagh came to Washington, she knew that her role would be a deep reserve. But she’s managed to more than hold her own when her number was called.
Okay, now that I got some of her Mystics content out of the way, let’s get to her stats in Europe.
In the French league, Mestdagh is averaging 8.7 points and 2.1 assists per game on a roster that also features Chicago Sky forward Katie Lou Samuelson. She has only played seven games domestically according to Eurobasket.com.
In EuroCup Women, Flammes went 6-0 in Group J play, which included French rival La Roche Vendée the second place team in the group, BCF Elfic Fribourg in Switzerland and the Liège Panthers in Belgium. In continental play, Mestdagh played five games and averaged 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 43.3 percent from the three-point line.
Mestdagh’s top performance was a 15 point performance against Fribourg where she scored 15 points while shooting 5-of-7 from the three point line.
Though Flammes is playing very well in continental competition, they aren’t doing so well in the French League, where they are just 3-7 so far.
Admittedly, I’m skeptical as to whether Mestdagh will return to Washington next season, even if a new WNBA CBA is international-friendly. But if she does, I hope we will get to see her play some more meaningful minutes during games.
Emma Meesseman, UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia)
The Finals MVP is back with UMMC Ekaterinburg where she is a starter for them in EuroLeague Women competition. Her teammates on the starting lineup include the Chicago Sky’s backcourt of Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley PLUS Phoenix Mercury center Britteny Griner. Meesseman’s most notable backup? Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun.
This lineup just isn’t fair for WNBA standards.
In Russian PBL play, Meesseman has played just four games, but is averaging 18.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while making 73.9 percent of her shots. Let me repeat... SEVENTY-THREE POINT NINE PERCENT!
Meesseman doesn’t have to play as many PBL games because of the deep roster. UMMC saves her for the EuroLeague Women competition, where she is averaging 15.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while making 68.7 percent of her shots against Europe’s other superpowers.
There are too many great performances from Meesseman to count. But her 16 point, 10 rebound showing against USK Praha on Nov. 6 shows a taste of what’s to come this winter.
UMMC is 8-1 in Group A play in EuroLeague Women and still have a few more games left to go before the playoffs. They are also first place in the Russian PBL domestically, even without her playing every game.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, DVTK Miskolc (Hungary)
Walker-Kimbrough was just a reserve for Washington this past season, averaging 6.7 points per game. But for her Hungarian team, she is their leading scorer domestically, averaging 18.5 points per game while shooting 52.1 percent from the field.
Furthermore, in continental play, Walker-Kimbrough averages 18.2 points per game, once again leading her team. Miskolc is currently third place in the Hungary-A Division but was eliminated in Group H play for EuroCup Women against French club Landes, Spanish club Cadi La Seu and Hungarian rival PEAC-PECS.
Since Walker-Kimbrough is playing very well abroad, don’t be surprised to see her take a larger role when the Mystics defend their championship this summer.