Stewart, Storm sweep Mystics for WNBA title

MTHS alum, athlete serves on Seattle Storm coaching staff

It's when people say things like, 'There's no basketball in Seattle anymore.' Or, like, 'We need pro basketball back in Seattle.' They're talking about how the Sonics are gone. "We're poised to get better".

League MVP Breanna "Stewie" Stewart led the team with 30 points and 8 rebounds, earning her MVP honors for the championship game. Washington won a Game 7 to win the title in 1978, while Seattle defeated the Bullets in five games to win the title a year later.

So here the Seattle Storm are, back on top of the WNBA world, and here Sue Bird is, a champion thrice over.

But everyone on the delirious Storm side may have been happiest for two people - first-year coach Dan Hughes, and the venerated veteran Bird. "I've seen her as a youngster, and I have seen her with the Storm, and she really is truly wonderful". But, as he pointed out, especially in the WNBA where a majority of players play year-round and are injury prone, winning a title takes the luck of being healthy all year. "God blessed me with an opportunity to coach her and I will be forever grateful". Atkins cemented herself as the Mystics' starting three with her speed and defensive effort, and it didn't hurt that she averaged 20.1 points per 40 minutes in the regular season. "There is probably no comparison to be honest".

"I'm super proud of this team". I was able to get to the free-throw line.

The coach sensed something brewing early in his first year with the franchise. Just as Black Mamba relinquished his throne to a younger LBJ, Diana "White Mamba" Taurasi basically passed the baton to Seattle Stew in the Phoenix Mercury's five-game semifinals loss.

"They clearly were the best team from start to finish, in my opinion", Thibault said. "This team made a lot of strides from this year to last year", Toliver said. "Obviously this isn't how we wanted it to end, but it's an experience we can grow from". A reliable scorer and rebounder to pair down low with Delle Donne, Meesseman was an All-Star in 2015 at just 22 years old.

What Delle Donne did against Atlanta may have been better. "To do it with this group, the way we did it, I don't even know how to react".

"It means I'm still under contract", she said smiling.

"Honestly, we've been that way all season", said Natasha Howard, who proved to be perhaps the missing piece in the Storm's championship puzzle. From tying the best record in franchise history in the regular season to making the WNBA Finals for the first time in franchise history is outstanding and these ladies should have their heads up high as they enter this upcoming offseason. The Mystics joined that unwanted club. "But our perimeter shooting allowed us to create some separation and then we managed the game pretty well". Washington finished 8 of 23 on 3-pointers in Game 3 and 11 for 60 (18.3) in the series. "I packed really lightly", Collier said. "It really gave us that home court advantage".

Breanna Stewart won four NCAA championships at UConn and won four Final Four MVP awards. "This didn't feel like my first trip to the Finals". Two of the league's most improved players were on the Mystics' roster.



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