The Washington Mystics have retained two of their players to this point in free agency, earlier this week saw one of their now former players find a new home. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt signed with the Los Angeles Sparks, she spent six seasons here in D.C. with the Mystics.
The signing of Ruffin-Pratt gives the Sparks quite the defensive wing duo in her and Alana Beard(both former Mystics) and Sparks GM Penny Toler was excited about the signing. “Tierra has a track record of being a hard worker and a physical defender who will sacrifice her own stats to make her team better.”
As for how this affects the Mystics, it means a few players will have to fill those shoes on the defensive end of the ball. Being the primary stopper, they have a few that could step up in that role, but Ruffin-Pratt will be missed in that regard. One of the other things that she brought to the table was her spirt, many times during her tenure as a member of the Mystics. She gave them life with her willingness to fight when times got tough. Washington has several youngsters that could fill that role, we’ll see when the season starts if they can and who will embrace it.
That said, Tierra is currently playing for Maccabi Ramat Hen in Israel. She was kind enough to answer a few questions we had. Below is a transcript of that exchange. MMOS is us here at My Mind on Sports and TRP is Tierra Ruffin-Pratt.
MMOS: Why Los Angeles, we’re there any other offers on the table?
TRP: Los Angeles made me feel wanted. I talked to a few of the players and heard nothing but good things. There’s a new coach coming in so everybody will be learning a new system together. There were a couple other teams that offered. But after talking to my family we felt LA was the best fit.
MMOS: What impact did Coach Mike Thibault have on you during your time here?
TRP: Coach Thibault gave me my first shot in the WNBA. Played six amazing seasons there and not many people thought I would only play one. So I thank him for that!
MMOS: You got a taste of the Finals last year, what’s it mean to play for a team that has won a championship in recent years?
TRP: I know what the finals feels like, I’ll be playing with players who know what a championship feels like. I’ll be playing for a coach that knows what it takes to win! I’m excited to learn from them and bring another championship to LA!