Change has come to Washington—and it’s not just taking place within the walls of the White House. On the court of professional women’s basketball, ch-ch-ch-ch-changes have taken place, with Julie Plank as the newest Head Coach for the Washington Mystics and Angela Taylor as general manager. It’s an exciting time says team star player Alana Beard, who’s been with the Mystics for the past five years.
Beard, originally from Shrevenport, Louisiana, started playing basketball at the age of 12. At Duke University, she became something of a legend as the first female basketball player to have her jersey number retired. In 2004, she joined the Mystics fresh out of college after being selected in the first round of the draft. Since then, Beard has consistently delivered great performances on the court—even if the team’s overall performance has slowed down a bit.
We chatted with Beard about the chances of the Mystics making it to the playoffs this year, her feelings about the team’s new coach and her love of slushies.
Name: Alana Monique Beard.
Occupation: Professional basketball player for the Washington Mystics.
Hometown: Shreveport, Louisiana.
Must-have item at all times: Phone.
Signature drink: A smoothie and/or a mojito.
Finish this sentence: When not working, you can find me . . .
. . . working with my Amateur Athletic Union team, called Alana Beard’s Future.
Washingtonians you admire:
Our First Family, the Obamas.
Favorite neighborhood in Washington:
Washington insider tips:
Just experience as much of the city as you possibly can—and while doing so, check out a few of my favorite restaurants like Sequoia, TenPenh, Oya, and Georgia Brown’s.
Finish this sentence: Thinking about the Metro makes me . . .
. . . want to one day take a ride on it.
Favorite sports-themed movie:
What would you change about Washington?
Make it have warm weather year-round.
As you answer these questions, what Web sites are open in your browser?
Facebook and AOL Instant Messenger.
The Houston Comets franchise recently folded. What was your reaction, and what do you think this means for the league?
I was sad to see the Comets fold. I followed that team growing up. For our league, I think it means competition has gotten even stronger.
How exciting is it to have new coach, Julie Plank? When will you start working together?
It will be interesting to see how Coach Plank will differ from previous ones. I am excited to get it going and start working with her. I know she’s just as passionate about winning and making a change as I am.
Also new to the team is general manager Angela Taylor. Are we going to see big changes happening with the team?
I hope so! So far, so good!
You’ve got great individual numbers, but as a team the Mystics haven’t been able to make it to the playoffs in the past two years. What’s missing?
If I knew the answer to that, we would be winning!
Can you see yourself doing something other than playing professional basketball?
I wouldn’t mind being an entrepreneur and owning my own Smoothie King.
Read our previous Favorites interview with Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade, the owners of Politics and Prose, here.