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Mystics' Kristi Toliver continues to make impact on Wizards as member of training camp staff

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USA Today

Mystics' Kristi Toliver continues to make impact on Wizards as member of training camp staff

The timing of Wizards' training camp in relation to the other residents of the Medstar Peformance Center in Ward 8 has allowed a collection of special guests to serve on their staff. The group has included assistants of the G-League's Capital City Go-Go and Kristi Toliver, the star point guard for the WNBA's Washington Mystics.

Toliver, 31, is fresh off a WNBA Finals run as a player, but has been able to test the coaching waters this summer. First as a member of Ryan Richman's staff with the Wizards' Las Vegas Summer League team and now with the NBA team, during training camp.

Though there are a lot of people and voices in the room at this point in the season, Toliver's impact has been felt.

"She's great. She's a woman who has a great IQ for the game of basketball," point guard John Wall said. "She knows how to play. You can pick her brain about certain things that we can see in the film room that she knows in the woman's game. She asked me certain questions about what I see in pick-and-rolls. We're just talking to each other and understanding things from a point guard perspective."

That last line has become a theme from several who have been asked about her presence at camp. Wall and his head coach, Scott Brooks, are admittedly partial in appreciating her perspective as a point guard.

Wall is currently one of the best in the NBA at the position and Brooks played point during his 10-year NBA career. Brooks believes her experience at point guard will go a long way in her hopes to become a full-time coach.

"I know I'm a little biased from a point guard standpoint, but point guards just see the game different because the game is in front of them," Brooks said. 

"It's great to have her on the staff. When I met with her in Las Vegas, I told her that I've been following her for two years now, since she came over with the Mystics. I like her IQ. I like to be challenged and I like to be around coaches that think the game."

Toliver has played 10 seasons in the WNBA and is expected to be back with the Mystics next season as they make another run at a championship. Though Brooks likes having her around, he believes she should be in no rush to become a coach.

"She should play, I told her 'keep playing.' That's the best job in the world. This coaching thing, I don't know about it. I don't know what you're thinking. She should play as long as she can, but she's definitely going to be destined for greatness as a coach... I just like her. She has a way about her," he said.

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Michael Jordan, Jordan Brand donating $100M towards racial equality and social justice

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Michael Jordan, Jordan Brand donating $100M towards racial equality and social justice

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand are giving $100 million to organizations dedicated to promoting racial equality and social justice.

In a joint statement Friday on social media, Jordan and the Jordan Brand said money will be paid over 10 years with the goal of "ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education."

"Black lives matter," the statement said. "This isn't a controversial statement. Until the ingrained racism that allows our country's institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of black people."

RELATED ARTICLE: BEAL THANKS D.C. MAYOR FOR BLACK LIVES MATTER PLAZA AND MURAL ON 16TH STREET

Jordan, the 57-year-old former Chicago Bulls great, is the owner of the Charlotte Hornets. The Jordan Brand is a subsidiary of Nike, the shoe giant that earlier Friday committed $40 million over the next four years to support the black community.

Jordan also released a statement Monday on George Floyd and the killings of black people at the hands of police.

"I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry," Jordan said. "I see and feel everyone's pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough."

Floyd was in handcuffs when a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck as he pleaded that he couldn't breathe. Derek Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

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Bradley Beal thanks D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for new Black Lives Matter Plaza, matching mural on 16th street

Bradley Beal thanks D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for new Black Lives Matter Plaza, matching mural on 16th street

Washingon, D.C. Mayor Murial Bowser had "Black Lives Matter" painted Friday on a street that leads up to the White House, an effort to honor those who have peacefully protested throughout the week following the death of George Floyd.

Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who has been active off and on social media in the fight against racial injustices, took to Instagram on Friday to thank Bowser for her act.

"There are people who are craving to be heard and to be seen, and to have their humanity recognized, and we had the opportunity to send that message loud and clear on a very important street in our city," Bowser said during a press conference Friday, via NBC News.

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Bowser posted a video to her own Instagram account on Friday, officially naming that section of 16th street 'Black Lives Matter Plaza.'

Earlier this week, the Wizards released a strong, unified statement on social media condemning social injustice, racism and police brutality. Multiple players, including Beal, reposted the statement on their respective Instagram story.

The message had four different statements:

"We will no longer tolerate the assassination of people of color in this country."

"We will no longer accept the abuse of power from law enforcement."

"We will no longer accept ineffective government leaders who are tone-deaf, lack compassion or respect for communities of color."

"We will no longer shut up and dribble."

Beal's Instagram post on Friday should not come as a surprise to anyone. In a recent interview with The Athletic, Wizards guard John Wall explained that Beal was the one who led the charge regarding the team's statement.

"We got a group chat that we have with our team,” Wall said. "Brad [Beal] started off with, like, this is what he was going to post, so we all agreed to it. We all agreed to it. We felt like it was a powerful message. We wasn’t going to force the organization or anybody to join us; this is the players coming together, and the organization came and did their thing."

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