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Mystics’ Sanford growing into role
Question of the Day
Nakia Sanford hoped to become a full-time starter. But the Washington Mystics’ center didn’t expect, nor did she want that position at the expense of losing her close friend.
But she didn’t immediately feel comfortable with the new responsibility.
Sanford averaged about three fouls a game, but her limited role allowed for such aggression. Since the Mystics now rely on Sanford to log as many minutes as possible — because of a lack of depth in the post — she can no longer play as a pesky spark plug.
Sanford thinks she plays more aggressively during the second half because of the decreasing pressure to stay out of foul trouble. But limiting her physical play hasn’t been the only challenge Sanford has faced since Melvin’s departure.
When former Mystics coach Richie Adubato resigned on June 1 in part because of the Melvin trade, Sanford saw Adubato’s unhappiness with the trade as a lack of confidence in her play. Hargrove convinced Sanford the front office thought otherwise.
Though Sanford’s numbers consistently were in double-figures immediately following the trade, she felt unprepared for the starting role.
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