The Mystics have always been involved in their community. But since they moved from downtown to the heart of the city, they’ve become a part of the neighborhood. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt led the charge in previous years, and Cloud and her teammates are carrying the torch. It’s one thing to give the standard “I believe the children are our future” speeches, shake hands and kiss babies. Cloud and Co. take it well beyond that though. They are constantly visible in the community. They have visited just about every school in Ward 8 (the section of DC where the new arena is), constantly give back, and provide positive role models kids in the community can see and touch. It’s easy to give inspiration from a TV screen, but to really get your hands dirty, and make a difference takes serious commitment and dedication.
Natasha has always been adamant about lending her voice to a worthy cause. She’s not your run of the mill activist either. A lot of people in her position are straight-laced, stern, serious and well…boring. Not Tasha. She has boatloads of personality, and she’s not shy about showing it.
That is what makes her so relatable. If you’ve ever been to a Mystics game, you’ve seen her and Kristi Toliver do their patented pitcher/catcher pre-game ritual. She’s also probably the best dancer in the WNBA. She had to prove it to the Indiana Fever last year (I’d crush her in a contest though). And no matter what, there is a huge smile on her face. All the positive energy and jubilance you see on the court comes rushing out when she’s interacting with the people in her community. It doesn’t matter if she’s giving out book bags with school supplies to local kids, or holding a free basketball clinic at a nearby middle school and surprising them with tickets to a Finals game, Natasha brightens the lives of everyone she comes in contact with.
She is a leader on the court and in the community. She has positively impacted the DC area since she was drafted by the Mystics in 2015. While the new arena was under construction, Natasha expressed her excitement about being closer to the community and having more access to fans. And she has lived up to her word. She’s been just as hard-working, present and vocal on the court. Her teammates have always heralded her as one of the loudest voices in the locker room. The Mystics have had tremendous success since she has been here as well. They were in the WNBA Finals last year, and of course, Cloud has not been quiet about them wanting to “Run It Back”.
Off the court, she has been just as fiery and passionate. She is not about the typical “dedication this” and “ribbon cutting that”. Tasha is always hands-on and in the thick of things. She is young, energetic, genuine and caring and her actions are reflective of that. She takes her activism very seriously, but there’s no rule that says she can’t have fun while doing it. Tasha is all about having fun and if you’ve ever met her, you know that to be true. We are definitely looking forward to seeing her continue to be a presence in the DC community. Whatever change she brings about, we know the ride won’t be boring.