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Mystics' Bria Hartley talks about her draft day experience, rookie season and more in interview

Apparently, Hartley got a hint that she was not playing in Seattle the moment she was drafted.

Photo courtesy of Stewart W. Small

Washington Mystics guard Bria Hartley has returned home to the States while her overseas team, UNIQA Euroleasing Sopron in Hungary, is on holiday break. In fact, she arrived home this past Monday:

Hartley didn't get to just sleep in once she got home like I would have if I were in her shoes. On the very next day, Hartley was on the La Diva Latina Show on Hartley's mother Simone was also on the show and said some things.

An embed of the interview is below:

As you might expect, most of the interview focuses on her college years at UConn. After all, let's be honest, most people still remember her for winning two straight national championships during her junior and senior seasons with the Huskies.

The most interesting part of the interview was during the 37 through 43 minute marks. During this time, Hartley talked about her Draft Day experience back in April when she was drafted by the Seattle Storm only to be traded to the Washington Mystics minutes later, where she made the All-Rookie Team and one of the highlights of the year.

Hartley mentioned that when she was drafted by the Storm, she was excited about the chance to play with Sue Bird. UConn head coach Geno Auriemma told her "I don't know about that."

From that moment on, she heard more rumblings about possibly being traded while she was going through the media rounds. While talking on the phone to the Seattle Times, she was abruptly interrupted once the trade was official. She had a chance to meet up with Stefanie Dolson, right as the trade was announced live on ESPN.

Thank God things happened the way they did. After all, if Hartley stayed in Seattle, she would have never had a chance to play meaningful minutes. And of course, she is a fan favorite on the Mystics because of her play and dedication to the game which fans in D.C. saw all summer long. For that, Mike Thibault's happy. VERY HAPPY!

thibault meme

Sorry, I couldn't resist. :)

Anyway, here are just some more highlights and tidbits:

  • Hartley started playing soccer as a child but she eventually liked basketball more.
  • She started playing varsity high school basketball when she was in the 8th grade.
  • She picked UConn because she wanted to play with the best players. She wants to be an Olympian someday.
  • Hartley gave her take on the Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James debate, which I think is old since ... Kobe's on his last legs. But anyway, she likes Bryant more because of the way he plays and his confidence.
  • Her boyfriend is Shakim Phillips, a wide receiver for Boston College's football team. Phillips has one of the more interesting transfer stories in recent NCAA memory, where he was at Boston College his freshman year, and then transferred to UConn (where he would have met Hartley obviously). Phillips played three more seasons for the Huskies and graduated this past spring. Now, he's back at BC to finish his playing eligibility and is a grad student. Read more on his transfer from BC Interruption. BC's playing in the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City against Penn State on Saturday, December 27.
  • Simone is very passionate about the women's game. She sounds like she wants to see a WNBA team in Brooklyn -- and Simone's also from Brooklyn. Hartley herself also talked about the need for women's basketball to gain more exposure. This section is towards the end of the interview.