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Mystics' secret weapon: Emma Meesseman

The Washington Mystics are off to one of the best stars in recent memory, and one of the main reasons for that, is the growth of Emma Meesseman. The third-year pro has blossomed into an All-Star this year, and she spoke with Swish Appeal about her growth and success this season.

NBAE/Ned Dishman

Swish Appeal: What was your initial reaction when you found out you made the All-Star team?

Emma Meesseman: I was kind of speechless. Once I heard it from the coach I had to let it sink in for a moment. Right after that, I was already getting nervous and started thinking what would do over there, I didn't really know anything about the players or the event.

Once I talked to my family and friends and heard how proud they were, I was just very excited to go and represent my team, my home, and my country. And I had a lot of fun!

SA: How does it make you feel to know that you recognized as one of the best players in the WNBA?

EM: It still feels pretty crazy. It is a great honor to get this recognition from other coaches, and it shows me that I am on the good road. It is only two years ago that I thought I would never make it to this league.

SA: What's something you worked on in the off-season, which you feel is helping you this year?

EM: I had a very young and kind of inexperienced team around me, so from being the youngest every single time I went to being one of the most experienced players, so I had to take more responsibility with more confidence. Having more confidence is an important thing in my game to take more shots, attack the basket more. We also worked a lot on getting stronger overseas, so I don't get overpowered as much as I used to.

SA: When you first got drafted to the WNBA, did you envision this type of success so quickly?

EM: Never. Even when I got drafted, I never believed in even making the team. When I came to training camp, I only packed for max three weeks, almost knowing for sure I'd be back home by then. In my second year, I got the starting forward position and started every game. I was just going from one huge surprise season to another one.

And then this year I make the All-Star team. At home, we sometimes think about how fast everything went, and it is just unbelievable to live this dream that once seemed impossible.

SA: You have improved steadily from your rookie year to now, what aspect of your game do you feel has improved the most?

EM: I think every aspect has improved. I am growing older and getting physically stronger, I have a lot more confidence than in my rookie year, I get to play with a lot of experienced players from who I learn to read the game in different ways. If I'd have to pick one thing that has improved the most, it'd probably be the confidence, even though I still need to keep working on that