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Monique Currie never really left Washington, but she’s changed on her return to Mystics

YT35N4SOGII6RBOBSMTMIUIQGM - Monique Currie never really left Washington, but she’s changed on her return to Mystics

Monique Currie spent just about 8 seasons with the Mystics ahead of leaving for Phoenix in 2015. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Publish)

Monique Currie had nearly made it to the tip of her first media look again in a Washington Mystics jersey when guard Tayler Hill reduce into the semicircle of journalists to invite for a selfie. Hill slung an arm round Currie, who instantly threw up a peace signal for the picture op ahead of Hill skipped away. When the interview completed, Currie slapped low 5 with a passing Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and laughed with Trainer-Common Supervisor Mike Thibault.

On that morning previous this month, Currie used to be considered one of simply two non-rookies milling about Capital One Area who didn’t play for Washington final yr; Thibault had added her and fifth-year professional Devereaux Peters as unfastened brokers all through the offseason. However Currie didn’t look like a beginner.

“D.C. has all the time been house,” she mentioned.

Currie used to be raised in Northwest Washington and went to school at Bullis ahead of fending off to Duke for varsity. It remained where she got here again to in her unfastened time, even after she left the Mystics after just about 8 complete seasons to play with Phoenix in 2015.

This season, which the Mystics will start Sunday towards the visiting Indiana Fever, will mark the primary time in 3 years that Currie has been in Washington full-time. Her D.C. hasn’t modified — she nonetheless spends time together with her circle of relatives; hits go-go presentations each time she will; and assists in keeping the status satisfied hour appointments she first made with pals way back. D.C. hasn’t modified. Currie has.

“For instance, I do Pilates now,” she mentioned, splitting into a large grin one fresh early morning ahead of apply.

spacer - Monique Currie never really left Washington, but she’s changed on her return to Mystics

Currie, who averaged 10.eight issues final season, with Tayler Hill, proper. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Publish)

However Currie returned to Washington for her 13th WNBA season with a lot more than added flexibility and core power.

In 3 seasons spent between the San Antonio Stars and Phoenix Mercury, Currie noticed what it takes to perform as a professional on the best possible stage by way of enjoying along Diana Taurasi. She extra deeply explored the non-basketball pursuits she has all the time harbored, and he or she discovered a brand new stage of work-life stability alongside the best way.

Currie, 35, used to be introduced again to Washington partially to assist bridge a scoring hole created when Emma Meesseman, who ranked 2nd at the group final yr with 14.1 issues consistent with recreation, made up our minds to take this WNBA season off. A 6-foot wing, Currie averaged 10.eight issues consistent with recreation and shot 42.eight % from the sector final yr, and he or she has added a unswerving three-point shot in recent times.

Along with the ones issues, Thibault is aware of he’s added a dose of veteran knowledge to the locker room.

“There’s issues she’s realized at different puts which can be a bit bit other that she will deliver to us and assist more youthful teammates with,” Thibault mentioned. “She will be able to step again from the method a bit bit and say, ‘That is what I’ve realized over my occupation,’ then assist a more youthful participant do this. That’s the place her voice will likely be vital off and on the courtroom.”

The Mystics, too, have modified. They completed above .500 simply as soon as in Currie’s first go-round; final season, after including embellished veterans Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver as a part of a roster overhaul, they reached the WNBA semifinals for the primary time in 15 years. Delle Donne (team-high 19.7 issues consistent with recreation final season) and Toliver (11.nine ppg) are again. Hill (13.three ppg) may even go back, however now not till a minimum of June as she recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that sidelined her for the second one part of final season.

In Phoenix, Currie realized so much observing Taurasi navigate her professional occupation after 13 years on the most sensible of the sport. What caught with Currie maximum used to be how Taurasi, who married former participant Penny Taylor final yr and welcomed her first kid in March, moved on on the finish of the paintings day.

“You don’t have to hold anything else over,” Currie mentioned. “It’s stuff like that that I believe a large number of gamers let get in the best way in their luck . . . . The best way she carries herself is like, wow. I had by no means performed with a participant at the stage that she’s on — you’ll be able to see the variation.”

Now not permitting basketball to seep into all corners of her existence is vital to Currie. Off the courtroom, she likes to speak politics and is a information junkie: NPR and CNN soundtrack her drives across the town. She’ll get to the museums when she will, particularly the Nationwide Museum of African American Historical past and Tradition, the place her jersey hangs as a part of the sports activities exhibition.

Currie’s hobby for journalism led her to begin her personal web site in 2016 with a pal she met at Duke. WomensBasketball247.com tracks international leagues, offering English-language updates which can be arduous to return by way of within the States. She has lots; she additionally serves as a vice chairman of the WNBA gamers’ union.

“I’ve all this information, this enjoy, from being right here goodbye. And I plan on being round for some time, so why now not percentage it,” Currie mentioned.

Time, and what sort of she has left within the league, turns out to return up in each and every dialog Currie has these days. She mentioned her hobby in returning to Washington used to be based purely in industry, now not an emotional need to go back house or see her occupation off into the sundown. However she doesn’t deny that being right here this spring to enjoy existence together with her circle of relatives has been lovely candy.

“I imply, I’m now not going to be enjoying till I’m 40, that’s inconceivable,” Currie mentioned, her smile returning. “And those younger women, they’re speedy! Pilates doesn’t assist with that! So I’ll simply pass as I believe. So long as I’m having a laugh and it is smart, basketball is what I’ll do. And now I’m house. It’ll be cool to be right here, to most likely end my occupation right here. That might be great.”

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