Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

WNBA | Preseason game in Tampa

Friends are foes tonight in WNBA exhibition in Tampa

TAMPA — For years, former Maryland stars Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper have been inseparable. Even when last month's WNBA draft sent them to opposite sides of the country, they instead went overseas together to play for the U.S. national team in Beijing.

"We were pretty much inseparable over there, too," said Harper, who has known Langhorne since they played in the same AAU program, the Philly Belles, in high school.

Tonight at 7, Langhorne makes her WNBA debut with Washington in a preseason game at the University of Tampa. It's only natural that such a game is against Sacramento, which has Harper as a rookie forward.

"It'll be very different to play against her," said Langhorne, a 6-foot-2 forward who was taken with the No. 6 pick. "But ever since we've been with our WNBA teams, we've talked every day."

Langhorne and Harper, a 6-foot-4 forward who was drafted 10th overall, combined for a dominating college frontcourt, helping Maryland to a national title in 2006. Langhorne was a two-time ACC player of the year and Harper was the most outstanding player in the Final Four they won. The two are similar enough that Washington struggled with which Terp it preferred on draft day.

"Don't have me relive that one," Mystics coach Tree Rollins said. "One second it was one of them, the next second it was the other. We knew either one would be a player we felt good about."

Both likely will play power forward, so they could find themselves guarding each other tonight, something they've only done in practice in recent years. Comparable as their games are, their personalities are contrasts, something that led to their friendship.

"Very, very different personalities," Langhorne said Friday. "She's more crazy; I'm more laid-back. She's very dramatic; I'm not. She's very emotional, sometimes too much, but she's passionate about everything she does."

Last week after returning from China, the two have recovered from global jet lag together on opposite coasts, chatting on the phone at 3 a.m. as they share the transition from senior college stars to rookie pros.

"There are so many talented players in the WNBA," Langhorne said. "Every team, every player is very talented. I'm really excited about getting ready to play this season, just trying to do my best with rebounding and defense."

MOSBY OUT: Former Hernando and Florida star Bernice Mosby, a second-year forward with the Mystics, is out as she recovers from offseason surgery to repair a knee injury suffered in the fall while she was playing professionally in Greece. Mosby, a first-round pick in 2007, is expected to return in late May or June.


Washington vs. Sacramento

What: WNBA preseason

When/where: 7; Bob Martinez Sports Center, University of Tampa

Tickets: $10; students high school or younger $8; teams can attend for $5 per player

Last year: Sacramento was third in the Western Conference with a 19-15 record, while Washington was fifth in the East at 16-18. The Monarchs lost in the West semifinals to San Antonio.

Who to watch: Sacramento's roster includes ESPN analyst and former Tennessee player Kara Lawson and former Georgetown center Rebekkah Brunson, who averaged 15 points last season. The Mystics have former Duke stars Alana Beard and Monique Currie, and former Miami guard Tamara James.

Friends are foes tonight in WNBA exhibition in Tampa 05/04/08 [Last modified: Sunday, May 4, 2008 10:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  2. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games


    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during the first inning of Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.
  4. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  5. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand


    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]