by Andrew Garda

Former Montclair High School basketball star Myisha Hines-Allen’s collegiate career may be done, but her journey looks like it is just beginning.

Surrounded by friends and family, Hines-Allen was selected by the Washington Mystics with the seventh pick of the second round of the 2018 WNBA draft on Thursday, April 12.

Hines-Allen, in a phone interview this week, said the selection by the Mystics was a surprise, as they had never contacted her prior to letting her know she had been selected by the team.

“Teams call you and you talk to them beforehand,” Hines-Allen said. “They get to know you, ask you about your game and what you see yourself doing.”

When she shows up to meet with the team on Monday, April 23, it will be the first time she has an in-depth talk with head coach Mike Thibault, but she knows she has to fight to make the final roster.

“I’m just ready for that next step in life and I’m working hard,” Hines-Allen said. “I got drafted, but I haven’t made the team yet. So, I still have to go to training camp and get on that 12- spot roster. The work’s not done and I’m just going to continue to work hard.”

Working hard shouldn’t be anything new for the former Mountie.

A five-star prospect and a 2014 McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, Hines-Allen was selected to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference freshman team by the coaches and landed on the all-ACC Academic Team as a freshman at Louisville. She also managed to start 28 games and scored 402 points, the fourth most by a freshman in school history.

She’d cap her Louisville career by helping lead her team to the Final Four, becoming the ACC’s leader in career double-doubles with 45 and one of two Cardinals players ever with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in the process.

Hines-Allen credited her success withe the Cardinals to her time at Montclair High School under former coach Bianca Brown.

“My freshman year of high school, Coach B  was new,” she said. “I’m walking into high school and thinking I’m the best player ever, but she’d played at the collegiate level, and she kind of taught me what I needed to do if I wanted to play in college. The lessons she taught me, I’m still using those right now trying to be a pro. She definitely taught me a lot.”

Among the many things Brown taught Hines-Allen was to be flexible and not to resist a change in your role with your team.

“In high school, I was doing everything — point guard to center to retrieving the ball. I was playing the one through five [positions] in high school. And in college, I was playing just the four and sometimes the five so it was about adjusting. And when I potentially become a professional athlete, I know I’ll have to play the three. Basically, it’s adjusting and whatever your coach needs you to do to help your teammates be successful, you do it,” she said.

With training camp set to begin on April 29, Hines-Allen now turns her focus to competing for one of those twelve roster spots. She knows the post is deep for the Mystics, as they acquired 2015 league MVP Elena Delle Donne prior to last season and have players like Krystal Thomas, Devereaux Peters and Asia Taylor behind Delle Donne.

However, Hines-Allen’s toughness and work ethic has allowed her to carve out a path from Montclair to Louisville. It should also serve her well in making the WNBA her new home.