Ariel Atkins signed a multi-year extension to stay with the Mystics effective in 2022, the team announced Friday afternoon. The move will keep her off the free agency market for next year.
The 24-year-old averaged a career-best 14 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.8 steals per game last season in the Florida bubble. In addition to having the best season of her career in the WNBA bubble, Atkins was one of the many leaders who helped bring awareness to social justice issues.
“Ariel has been a great contributor to our success from the time she stepped on the court her rookie year,” said Thibault in a statement. “Her growth as a player and a leader over her first three seasons has been important to our growth as a team. Her leadership on and off the court during last summer’s trying season was impressive and we are excited to watch her continued improvement as a player over the next several years. Ariel is an excellent role model and representative of the Mystics in the D.C. community and this is an important next step forward for us.”
Atkins began her professional career with the Mystics after the team selected her with the 7th overall pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft.
In a tweet following the news, Mystics owner Ted Leonsis excitedly called Atkins a “great teammate, leader, and talent.”