The Washington Mystics re-signed guard Ariel Atkins to a multi-year extension with the team effective in 2022. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 5-foot-8 guard is coming off a 2020 season in which she set career highs in points per game (14.8), rebounds per game (2.9), assists per game (2.4) and steals per game (1.8). She also posted career highs by shooting 43.8 percent from the field, 41.1 percent from the 3-point line and 88.6 percent from the free-throw line.
"Ariel has been a great contributor to our success from the time she stepped on the court her rookie year," Washington coach Mike Thibault said in a statement.
"Her growth as a player and a leader over her first three seasons has been important to our growth as a team. Her leadership on and off the court during last summer's trying season was impressive and we are excited to watch her continued improvement as a player over the next several years.
"Ariel is an excellent role model and representative of the Mystics in the D.C. community and this is an important next step forward for us."
Washington took Atkins seventh overall in the 2018 WNBA Draft. She played a major role in leading the Mystics to berths in the WNBA Finals in each of her first two seasons, culminating with the team's first title in 2019. She has made the league's All-Defensive Team in each of her first three seasons in the WNBA.
The Mystics finished the regular season 9-13 and lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Phoenix Mercury in 2020. Her three-year playoff averages include 11.4 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game and 2.2 assists per game.
"Coach T, everyone in the Mystics organization, and Monumental Sports Entertainment as a whole have given me every opportunity to grow," Atkins said in a statement. "I also get to play in front of the most passionate and electrifying fans in the WNBA. I believe in what we do here, that's why I signed an extension with the Mystics."
--Field Level Media