Head coach of the Washington Mystics, Mike Thibault announced today, Bria Hartley has been placed on the suspended list after receiving news she will be expecting her first child. She will miss the remainder of the season, however, is expected to play in 2017.
This season Hartley was averaging 6.5 points per game and 2.0 rebounds.
In other news, the Mystics have signed one of Australians Olympian, Leilani Mitchell. While playing in the Olympics, Mitchell averaged 11.3 points per game, 4.5 assists and shot 55.6% from the three-point line.
Thibault addressed the media expressing the need and how well Mitchell will fit in with the team.
“Leilani Mitchell is a proven WNBA veteran guard who will be a positive addition to our backcourt rotation. Her ability to distribute the ball, as well as score, should greatly help us in our quest to accelerate our tempo and keep defenses honest with her outstanding three-point shooting.”
Before the break, he knew there would be changes that need to made at the guard position.
“Due to the rash of injuries to our backcourt and the inconsistency of our perimeter shooting, we knew when we entered the Olympic break that we had to try to add to our guard depth in a very positive manner. Leilani is the perfect fit for our team.”
This will not be Mitchell’s first stop in the WNBA. She was first drafted 25th overall in the 2008 WNBA draft by the Phoenix Mercury. From there she was traded to the New York Liberty where she played six seasons.
In 2010 Mitchell earned the league’s Most Improved honor after her career averages reached 9.3 points per game and 3.8 assists per game. The last WNBA team she played for was in 2015 when she returned to the Mercury.
Another move Washington made was to waive Tianna Hawkins who is on the WNBA’s mandated concussion protocol. The Mystics doctors will continue to give her medical attention and evaluate her. She was averaging 4.7 points per game and 2.5 rebounds.