Washington Mystics head coach Mike Thibault revealed on Tuesday that 2019 WNBA Finals MVP Emma Meesseman will not suit up for his team in 2021.
Mike Thibault just said pregame that Emma Meesseman will not be joining the Mystics this season. Said she’s just worn out from a long year of playing overseas and that she tried to convince herself to join the team. But just couldn’t do it. #wnba— Kareem Copeland (@kareemcopeland) August 24, 2021
“The whole summer I thought and believed I would join the Mystics again after the European Championship and the Olympics, but it turns out the only right decision is to take some extra time for myself,” Meesseman said in a statement released by the Mystics. “I wish it was different because everybody knows I love the Mystics family. D.C. will continue to be my home away from home! I wish the team all the best and I’ll be rooting for them, like I always have.”
“While we had hoped for Emma’s return for the last part of the season, we know this has been a long summer with her National Team and understand her decision,” Thibault said. “We hope she can enjoy the much-deserved time off and we look forward to possibly seeing her in a Mystics uniform next season. Emma will always be a part of the Mystics family.”
Meesseman was phenomenal for Belgium at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, leading the tournament with 26.8 points per game. She was last seen in the WNBA in 2020 when she averaged 13 points, 5.3 rebounds and a career-high 4.5 assists.
In the 2019 Finals, Meesseman averaged 17.8 points per game and went 7-of-14 from beyond the arc. She scored 22 in the series-clinching Game 5 win over the Connecticut Sun.
Meesseman is a one-time All-Star (2015) and has career-highs of 15.2 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, 1.4 steals per game and 1.5 blocks per game. She came in at No. 21 in Swish Appeal’s Top 30 players list prior to the 2021 season, so adding her to a Mystics roster with Elena Delle Donne (No. 2), Tina Charles (No. 10), Myisha Hines-Allen (No. 23) and Olympian Ariel Atkins, who has risen from No. 30, would be incredible. However, Charles and Hines-Allen will both be free agents next offseason as will Meesseman.