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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 earlier than leaving for Phoenix in 2015. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Publish)

Monique Currie had virtually made it to the tip of her first media look again in a Washington Mystics jersey when guard Tayler Hill minimize 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 photograph op earlier than 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 was once one in every of simply two non-rookies milling about Capital One Area who didn’t play for Washington remaining yr; Thibault had added her and fifth-year professional Devereaux Peters as unfastened brokers throughout the offseason. However Currie didn’t look like a beginner.

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

Currie was once raised in Northwest Washington and went to highschool at Bullis earlier than warding 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 in opposition to 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 be able to; and helps to keep the status glad hour appointments she first made with buddies way back. D.C. hasn’t modified. Currie has.

“As an example, I do Pilates now,” she stated, splitting into a large grin one contemporary early morning earlier than follow.

Currie, who averaged 10.eight issues remaining 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 degree through 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 degree of work-life steadiness alongside the best way.

Currie, 35, was once introduced again to Washington partly to assist bridge a scoring hole created when Emma Meesseman, who ranked 2nd at the staff remaining yr with 14.1 issues in line with sport, determined to take this WNBA season off. A 6-foot wing, Currie averaged 10.eight issues in line with sport and shot 42.eight p.c from the sector remaining yr, and he or she has added a loyal three-point shot lately.

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 are a bit of bit other that she will be able to carry to us and assist more youthful teammates with,” Thibault stated. “She will step again from the method a bit of bit and say, ‘That is what I’ve realized over my profession,’ then assist a more youthful participant do this. That’s the place her voice can be vital off and on the court docket.”

The Mystics, too, have modified. They completed above .500 simply as soon as in Currie’s first go-round; remaining 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 in line with sport remaining season) and Toliver (11.nine ppg) are again. Hill (13.three ppg) is predicted to go back, however now not till no less than June as she recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that sidelined her for the second one part of remaining season.

In Phoenix, Currie realized so much gazing Taurasi navigate her professional profession after 13 years on the most sensible of the sport. What caught with Currie maximum was once how Taurasi, who married former participant Penny Taylor remaining yr and welcomed her first kid in March, moved on on the finish of the paintings day.

“You don’t have to hold the rest over,” Currie stated. “It’s stuff like that that I believe numerous avid gamers let get in the best way in their good fortune . . . . The best way she carries herself is like, wow. I had by no means performed with a participant at the degree that she’s on — you’ll be able to see the variation.”

No longer permitting basketball to seep into all corners of her existence is vital to Currie. Off the court docket, 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 be able to, 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 interest for journalism led her to start out her personal web site in 2016 with a chum she met at Duke. WomensBasketball247.com tracks overseas leagues, offering English-language updates which are laborious to return through within the States. She has lots; she additionally serves as a vice chairman of the WNBA avid gamers’ union.

“I’ve all this information, this enjoy, from being right here see you later. And I plan on being round for some time, so why now not proportion it,” Currie stated.

Time, and what kind of she has left within the league, turns out to return up in each dialog Currie has these days. She stated her pastime in returning to Washington was once based purely in trade, now not an emotional want to go back house or see her profession 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 not possible,” Currie stated, her smile returning. “And those younger ladies, they’re speedy! Pilates doesn’t assist with that! So I’ll simply pass as I believe. So long as I’m having amusing and it is sensible, basketball is what I’ll do. And now I’m house. It’ll be cool to be right here, to perhaps end my profession right here. That might be great.”

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