The Washington Mystics were one of the first teams to make up the WNBA.
There was huge hope for the team that they would be extremely successful and to some degree they have been. Because of the inconsistencies in leadership, the players have had to rely on themselves and the few natural born leaders.
These leaders also happen to be the most famous players in the history of the Mystics, as well as some of the most talented.
Nikki McCray is a WNBA legend. She played 11 years of professional basketball, 9 in the WNBA and 2 in the ABL, and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. McCray started in 1996 with the ABL’s Columbia Quest.
She proved her worth that year and led her team to the league championships and was also named the league’s MVP award. 1998 saw her with the Washington Mystics and she stayed for four seasons. In that time, McCray was the team’s leading scorer for the first two seasons, followed by three WNBA All-Star game appearances.
The first All-Star game in 1999 saw McCray as a starter and in 2000 she was the leading vote-getter among Eastern Conference guards. After the Mystics, McCray moved around from team to team for the next 5 seasons. She spent two with the Indiana Fever, one with the Phoenix Mercury, one with the San Antonio Silver Stars, and one with the Chicago Sky.
She retired at the end of 2006 with 2,528 career points, which was good enough for No. 24 on the WNBA’s career scoring list.
Chamique Holdsclaw is one of the most decorated collegiate basketball player and has brought that success into her WNBA career. In 1999 she was the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft.
The Mystics selected her and after her first season with them, she was named the 1999 Rookie of the Year. She started in 30 games and averaged 16.9 points per game, 7.9 rebounds per game and was a starter in the first ever WNBA All-Star Game.
The following season also saw much success for Holdsclaw as she started all 32 games and averaged 17.5 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game.
Holdsclaw was the first player in the Mystics history to score 30 points in a single game. She did this against the Indiana Fever and also had 8 blocks. Holdsclaw became the leading vote-getter in the 2000 WNBA All-Star game. The next couple seasons were a bit of a struggle for Holdsclaw because of injuries.
Despite her ailments, she still played and contributed to the team. 2003 was her best season as she posted an average of 20.5 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game. She finished this season ranked No. 1 in rebounds per game and points per game, No. 2 in double-doubles, No. 3 in total rebounds, and was named as an All-Star starter for the fifth time. She currently plays for the San Antonio Silver Stars.