Mike Thibault to miss Mystics game for father's funeral

Washington Mystics head coach Mike Thibault and assistant Eric Thibault will miss the team's game at the Minnesota Lynx on Friday to attend the funeral for their father and grandfather, Frank Thibault.

Frank Thibault passed away on June 16, the Mystics coach said.

''The funeral's in California on Saturday,'' Mike Thibault told The Associated Press in a phone interview on Tuesday. ''He was 92 years old and had a great life. I've been back and forth a few times and took a couple days away.''

The Mystics coach wasn't sure if he and his son would be back for Sunday's game in Chicago.

''We'll see how it all pans out,'' he said.

Assistant coach Marianne Staley will coach the game against Minnesota.

The Mystics are 7-4 with one of those losses coming at home to the Lynx. Star forward Elena Delle Donne didn't play in that game because of an injury. She'll play on Friday.

So much was expected of the Mystics this season with the addition of Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver. They are still a work in progress.

''We can contend now, but we don't have the experience of that many good veteran players that Minnesota and LA have right now,'' Thibault said. ''Teams like us and New York and Seattle are trying to take the next step. Until Minnesota and LA show a few cracks, we'll have to work our butt off to get to that level.''

The Mystics were in a light part of their schedule with only two games over a span of 12 days that has let some of the injured players heal.

''Most of our time practice got wasted having three people hurt. Elena, Ivory (Latta), Tierra Ruffin-Pratt all were hurt and we were practicing with eight players. The break came at a good time for us.''

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