Ariel Atkins says she is safe while playing with Ukrainian basketball team

Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins posted on her Instagram story on Thursday morning posted that she is not in Ukraine and is safe while playing overseas.

She is currently playing for SC Prometey Kamianske in the Ukrainian Super League as a part of the EuroCup. 

"I appreciate all the love and concern," Atkins said in her story. "I am NOT in Ukraine. Please send a prayer up for my teammates, their families and everybody in our organization who is still there and has family there."

Atkins followed up her statement with a story that her team's next game will be in Bulgaria, their "home away from home."

The team later announced on Instagram that all basketball contests inside Ukraine are canceled. 

"This decision was made in connection with the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine," the statement translated by Instagram said. "Despite the situation, all basketball competitions in Ukraine are canceled until further notice."

Prometey and the league will continue its season's games outside of Ukraine. 

Early Thursday morning Russia launched a wide-ranging military attack on Ukraine, hitting cities and bases with airstrikes or shelling. Ukraine’s leadership said Thursday at least 40 people have been killed so far in what it called a “full-scale war” targeting the country from the east, north and south.


Atkins just returned from a short stint with Team USA in Washington, D.C. to qualify for the 2022 FIBA World Cup. During that time, her team had nearly a month hiatus in its schedule so that she did not miss much time with Prometey. Atkins is one of two Americans on the roster along with Joyner Holmes.

The Mystics organization has been in contact with Atkins during this time. The Ukrainian regular season is scheduled to end March 6.