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Mystics give Tianna Hawkins a one-year contract extension ahead of playoff run

Mystics give Tianna Hawkins a one-year contract extension ahead of playoff run

The Washington Mystics have announced that forward Tianna Hawkins has signed a contract extension that will keep her with the team through the 2020 season.

Hawkins, 28, is averaging a career-high 9.1 points on the season and is the top bench player in the rotation for the Mystics. Consistently she plays minutes with the starters and can lead the second unit, stretching the floor when need be.  At 6-3 she is the third tallest player on the roster and she brings down 4.0 rebounds per game.

D.C. is Hawkins home as she has spent five of her six WNBA seasons with the Mystics. She was originally a first-round selection of the Seattle Storm in 2013. Before being drafted she was a standout in College Park, playing for the University of Maryland.

“I am extremely happy to have the opportunity to continue my career here in D.C.,” Hawkins said in a Mystics release. “Being a part of such a great organization and surrounded by the best coaches and teammates in the league has been nothing short of amazing. I am truly blessed for the opportunity and focused on our main goal this season!”

Signing Hawkins before the team’s playoff run shows a commitment to bring back a significant crop of role players for next season. Last year the team made it to the WNBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. This season, with a similar roster, they are looking to “Run it Back” and take it one step further by claiming the title. All season they’ve been near the top of the WNBA standings. With a week left in the season, Washington is set to claim the No. 1 seed.

Other stars, Elena Delle Donne, Kristi Toliver, and Emma Meesseman, however, are without commitments to the Mystics past this year. But Hawkins now joins LaToya Sanders, Ariel Atkins and Aerial Powers as Mystics under contract for 2020.

At the end of this season, Hawkins was set to become a free agent for the first time. This season she earned $70,000, the sixth-most on the team.

No details on the contract amount have been officially announced. It is a reported deal of $71,400 by High Post Hoops.

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Isaiah Thomas expected to miss several more games due to calf injury

Isaiah Thomas expected to miss several more games due to calf injury

WASHINGTON -- Isaiah Thomas has missed the Wizards' last two games with a left calf strain and it sounds like he will be out at least a little while longer.

The Wizards guard caught up with NBC Sports Washington at his holiday toy giveaway at the Boys and Girls Club in Northwest D.C. on Saturday and gave an update on how he's feeling.

"I'm good," he said. "I think I will be out a few more games and then be able to come back."

Thomas nearly played on Thursday in the Wizards' home win over the Sixers, according to head coach Scott Brooks. He pleaded with the coaching staff to play, but was advised not to as a precaution.

Thomas categorized the injury in a similar way, that the team is just playing it safe.

"I always feel like I can play, but the medical staff wants to be cautious about it, knowing it's a long season. There's a bigger picture and I'm just listening to whatever they've got to say," he said.

Thomas, 30, is enjoying a career renaissance of sorts with the Wizards. He is averaging 12.6 points and 5.1 assists while shooting 41 percent from three on 4.9 attempts per game.

With Thomas out, the Wizards have gone 1-1 with Ish Smith in his place in the starting lineup.

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Why Isaiah Thomas brings his kids to help him at charity events

Why Isaiah Thomas brings his kids to help him at charity events

WASHINGTON -- Isaiah Thomas likes to bring his sons with him just about wherever he goes. They walk with him into the Wizards' locker room, they shoot around on the court at Capital One Arena; he's even brought them to the podium for postgame interviews.

On Saturday, Thomas brought one of his sons to the Boys and Girls Club on 8th St. in Northwest Washington and for a specific reason. Thomas wanted him to help give back.

Just as Thomas was handing out toys to underprivileged youth, so was his son. The contrast was not lost on Thomas, who knows his son is well off as the kid of a millionaire NBA player. Not everyone is as fortunate.

"When I can do these types of things, I always want my kids to be around it," Thomas told NBC Sports Washington. 

"To be able to give back and see how blessed we are and how blessed he is and how we can put smiles on peoples' faces, especially around the holidays; it's definitely a point of emphasis to do that and bring my boys around to see it."

Thomas said his father instilled the same lessons in him when he was growing up in Washington state. Every Saturday morning at 6 a.m., his dad would take him to a shelter to serve breakfast to the homeless.

"That was something I was born into doing," Thomas said.

Thomas grew up going to the Boys and Girls Club himself and has partnered with them and World Vision throughout his NBA career to give back. Their efforts nationally have allowed him to continue the relationship no matter which team he has played for.

"Isaiah Thomas has been an amazing partner for World Vision," aid worker Brian Duss said. "Isaiah wasn't even in D.C. four days before he partnered with us at a school in [Southeast] to give away 400 backpacks filled with school supplies."

Before handing out toys and taking pictures with the children, Thomas addressed the crowd with a microphone. He spoke of his experience going to the Boys and Girls Club as a kid and explained the impact he hopes to make in the D.C. community.

"Whatever you need from me, I'm always here for you," he said. "I hope everyone has a happy holidays."

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