The Washington Mystics may be in their offseason, but for many of their players, they are playing internationally. And one of their starters, Leilani Mitchell, has just come home with some hardware.
On Sunday (or Saturday in Washington time due to time differences), the Southside Flyers, Mitchell’s Australian team, defeated the Townsville Fire in the 2020 WNBL Finals in Australia, 99-82 to win the league title. She scored 31 points on 9-of-13 shooting and made 5-of-7 three pointers.
In addition, she also dished five assists and four rebounds. Keep in mind that Mitchell is listed at ... 5’5 ... and she still grabbed four rebounds!
You can watch the entire game in the video below.
Mitchell played alongside some other notable WNBA players for Southside. One of her teammates is Las Vegas Aces center Liz Cambage. In addition, the team captain, Jenna O’Hea, has played six WNBA seasons for the Los Angeles Sparks (2011-13) and Seattle Storm (2014-16).
But there’s also something notable about the game that may look like an outrage to you.
This is not a basketball game snapshot from the year 2019.— BF_Mystics (@BF_mystics) December 20, 2020
This is the Australian 2020 WNBL Finals.
Crowds of fans! This could be what a 2021 Mystics game looks like if we can hunker down through this winter and wear those masks in the meantime!#TogetherDC pic.twitter.com/w7COXN0ggT
You aren’t looking at cardboard cutouts of fans. And there aren’t people in masks. Yes, a good crowd of fans were at yesterday’s game.
Mitchell’s game yesterday (in our time here in Washington) wasn’t just a great performance. The ambiance was sort of like what the future of basketball could be like when the Mystics get back to the court next year, if we social distance and wear those face masks in public now, and take the vaccine when it’s our turn, next year, things will get better. The emphasis is mine.
Yes, Australia has had a lot fewer coronavirus cases than the United States where there are are nearly 18 million cases and over 317,000 deaths as of the time of the last Google search I did, at around 1:28 p.m. ET. Australia is also taking big measures when there are small outbreaks.
It’s going to be a rough winter, but when I saw this game last night, I also thought that the crowd was a sign of what Mystics games (and Wizards games after that) can be like in a post-coronavirus world.
Congratulations Leilani! And stay safe everyone!