Mystics Out In The Community

It was 'City Girls' vs 'Country Girl' today as Washington Mystics players Nikki Blue, Kristen Mann, Jennifer Lacy, Monique Currie, La’Tangela Atkinson, and Marissa Coleman spent the morning at George Washington Middle School where they participated in a planting project for the after-school program, Head Start.

Mystic players help plant a garden at George Washington Middle School.

The Mystics spent time getting their hands dirty, and working their biceps, digging a portion of land behind the school where they planted Sevia, and various types of lillies with help of volunteers from Alexandria, Virginia's Campagna Center in partnership with Gifts In Kind, International.

La'Tangela Atkinson, no stranger to gardening, met the task with little to no fan fare - having grown up in South Carolina where she tells us she helped her grandfather with planting and gardening.

"We planted tomatoes and corn on my grandfather's land", said Atkinson.

While Atkinson was making use of her planting skills it was a first for the other Mystics teammates.

"This is hard", said one teammate. "These bags are heavy", said another of the ten pound bag of topsoil used to cover the planting area.

In the end, the girls rose to the challenge and planted their first plant in the school's garden, a Golf Stream Bamboo plant (also called Nandina).

"I'm a 'City Girl' no more!", rejoiced Nikki Blue after planting one of the plants.

The Mystics players also participated in a pre-K reading of 'In The Tall, Tall Grass, by Denise Fleming.

The team started off on a good note this weekend, defeating the Atlanta Dream 77-58 on Sunday in preseason action. Marissa Coleman had 13 points and Latangela Atkinson had six points and eight rebounds.

Unfortunately, the 2010 season will be played without their star point guard Alana Beard, who is out for the season with an ankle injury.

The season tips off with back-to-back games beginning Saturday, May 15 against the Eastern Conference Champions, Indiana Fever followed by a match up on Sunday, May 16 at the Minnesota Lynx.

Washington’s home opener is Friday, May 21, against the New York Liberty.

Visit for updates and schedule.