The veteran forward played for Washington from 2013-20 and was the WNBA Finals MVP in 2019 when the Mystics won the championship.
On Tuesday evening, Washington Mystics General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault announced that Emma Meesseman will skip the 2021 WNBA season due to overload. The announcement was made before Washington’s game against the Los Angeles Sparks, which they won, 78-68.
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
Meesseman played for the Mystics from 2013-20 where she first came to the team as a 19-year old Belgian from French team ESB Villeneuve-d’Ascq with a second round pick. She got accustomed to the WNBA game pretty quickly, ultimately becoming a starter in her second season and a WNBA All-Star in 2015. In fact, from 2013-16, she didn’t miss a single game.
In 2019, when the Mystics won the WNBA championship, she was also the Finals MVP. She has career averages of 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
While the Mystics have improved with Meesseman over the years, her national team has also improved, and that has affected her availability to play in the WNBA. Since 2017, the Belgium women’s national basketball team won two Women’s EuroBasket bronze medals (2017 and 2019), a semifinals appearance in the 2019 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup and a quarterfinals appearance in the 2020 Olympics. Belgium has never participated in a World Cup or Olympics before Meesseman joined the team.
The news of Meesseman skipping this season isn’t surprising. This year, Belgium had to play in Women’s EuroBasket and the Olympics in the span of a couple months. In addition, the Mystics have built up their frontcourt depth so they wouldn’t be hurt too much for this kind of scenario. That said, it’s understandable.
Thanks for rep’ing the DMV, Emma! And we wish you the best with the Belgian Cats and UMMC Ekaterinburg!