Takeaways: Washington Mystics optimistic about future after getting swept by Lynx in WNBA semifinals

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: Sylvia Fowles /
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Emma Meesseman is still figuring out how to fight through the bad days

It was a strange seasons for Meesseman, who left the team for a month to play with the Belgian national team, where she seemed to thrive under the pressure of having a team on her shoulders. Then, back in D.C., she had to adjust to a team with three different starters than it had the previous year, with Toliver, Delle Donne, and Thomas.

There were times when she and Delle Donne seemed close to establishing unstoppable chemistry, but there were more times, especially in the postseason and late in the year, hat Meesseman struggled and just seemed frustrated with herself — she was even upset after the team’s great playoff win over New York because she hadn’t contributed a lot individually.

When she returned from Belgium, Thibault was thrilled at the maturation process she’d gone through, and praised her in press for finally learning to shoot through her slumps. But later in the season, when Delle Donne returned from injury, and the competition got more intense, she seemed to revert right back to her hesitant form.

On Sunday, she was visibly frustrated in the locker room after shooting only 2-for-14 for eight points. It was clear that she’d fought through her instincts to pass the ball and had tried to take the key shots, but they still weren’t dropping.

“Right now I’m a little bit disappointed in myself, because I didn’t shoot the ball the way I wanted to,” Meesseman said. “I had a lot of talks with other people, and they told me to keep shooting, which is hard for me. I tried, and I tried to give everything in other aspects of the game, but I mean, it’s never fun to have a season end that way, as a team, as a person.”


Meeseeman is still optimistic about the future of things in D.C., and next year should be a completely different ballgame (literally), when she has time to actually develop consistency with this new core group. She just has to figure out where exactly she fits in, and learn how to battle through the bad days and keep shining.

“I have to keep working on that,” she said. “I cannot hide behind the fact that I’m young or something. This is my fifth year. And I know I have to take this responsibility … and just keep shooting with confidence.”

Meesseman has played more basketball than is conceivable this year, but she said she would get time off — about two weeks, before she has to go back to Russia. Then there will be more Belgium national team commitments. Dear God how does she do it.