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Listening, learning and watching leads to Myisha Hines-Allen’s big night

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Truly a leader by example...

Indiana Fever v Washington Mystics Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

A New Jersey native.

Louisville Cardinal athlete and graduate.

ACC Player of the Year in 2016.

2018 WNBA Second Round Draft pick to the Washington Mystics.

2019 WNBA Champion.

Ladies and gentlemen....Myisha Hines-Allen.

I didn’t tell you anything you didn’t already know. But what I will tell you is that we received just a glimpse of what Hines-Allen can do in her career. On opening day Sunday against the Indiana Fever, she made the starting lineup for a second time in the four spot. For the Washington Mystics, it just seemed like they were going the “small ball”route. And it worked.

Hines-Allen played 29 minutes in the Mystics season opening victory. That’s way more than what she averaged the last two seasons combined which was about nine minutes per game (10.5 in 2018 and 7.8 in 2019). You may assume that athletes who make a professional team expect to play immediately and may even become disgruntled when their time during a game is spent heavily on the bench, but not Hines-Allen. She listened, she learned and she continued to watch quietly just waiting on her moment. It was all about lessons learned.

“I think the biggest thing when I was sitting on the bench those two years was I wasn’t just sulking and being mad like ‘oh why am I not playing’. I was continuing to get better and looking at the people in front of me,” Hines-Allen said. “What are they doing well? How do they defend? How are they getting their open shots? It’s like all leading up to this point right now where I worked so hard for.”

All she focused on led to a career-high night on Sunday with 27 points, 10 rebounds and two assists. Although majority of the credit for that stat line could go to her, it wouldn’t be possible without the guidance of her teammates.

“My coaches and my teammates they kept giving me confidence like before the game like ‘My you got it...you can shoot the jump shot and you’ve been practicing and don’t hesitate to shoot the jump shot’ just giving me a lot of confidence throughout the whole game,” she said. And Toya [LaToya Sanders] texted me just before the game giving me pointers on how to defend. It was just all around I felt like I had a lot of support. You can’t go wrong when you have a lot of support in your corner.”

Head Coach Mike Thibault even asserted her quickness as a positive despite Hines-Allen being undersized in the post. He mentioned how she does match well with others.

“Physically, strength wise she can match everybody. She’s not going to match them on size, but when you put the strength and the quickness together she can go by people,” Thibault said. “She gets good position on the boards and then because she’s a post who can handle the ball some you know I thought she ran the fast break with the ball in her hand several times really well.”

Hines-Allen knew her mindset going into the game and that was “play hard and play aggressive”.She mentioned how she took what the defense gave her and was able to get out in transition and run the floor. And that’s exactly what we saw from her.

Myisha Hines-Allen can truly be a model for all future athletes to come. It goes to show that if you’re listening, learning and watching your moment too can come and when it does make sure you’re ready for all the lessons taught and to showcase it on the floor.