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Monday, June 17, 2024

Kelsey Mitchell breaks Fever consecutive games played record

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With her appearance against the Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday, Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell has now played in 139 consecutive games, passing Hall-of-Famer Tamika Catchings for the most consecutive games played in team history.

Mitchell has appeared in every game for Indiana since her WNBA career began in 2018. Mitchell holds the second-longest active streak in the WNBA behind Las Vegas Aces guard Chelsea Gray, who has played in 175 straight games since 2016.

“I give it to God for sure as far as watching over my mental health and physical health,” Mitchell said. “The way I was raised, the way my parents brought me up: ‘If you can play, play,’ because you can’t take it for granted.”

“She dedicates her life, her soul to the game,” Fever interim head coach Carlos Knox said. Knox added that Mitchell possesses a large amount of grit that has helped her reach this accomplishment.

Through 16 games this year, Mitchell has logged the most minutes in the WNBA.

Mitchell gave props to Fever athletic trainer Ryan Newton for helping her recover throughout the season. She has been utilizing recovery boots, ice tubs, meditation and recovery drinks to keep her fresh. Mitchell added that an improved diet is beginning to make a difference.

“My diet is good some days,” Mitchell said with a chuckle. “Some days are better than others, some days are worse than others, but I think cleaning up your diet helps with that too.”

Mitchell is in the midst of a career year for the Fever. Heading into Wednesday night’s game, Mitchell is averaging 18.8 points per game, 3.9 assists per game and shooting 39.8 percent on 3-pointers. Those are all career highs for the fifth-year guard out of Ohio State. The team is campaigning heavily for Mitchell to be named an All-Star for the first time in her career.

“Anybody in their right mind at this level wants to be an All-Star,” Mitchell said. “That’s what we do it for. We do it for the competition, for the love of the game.”

The first round of All-Star voting saw Mitchell place 21st in the WNBA fan vote. The 10 starters for the game are weighted by fan votes, player votes and media votes. The starters are to be revealed on June 22.

The 12 reserves for the game are voted on by the league’s head coaches, who will vote for three guards, five frontcourt players and four players who play any position. The reserves will be announced on June 28.

The 2022 WNBA All-Star Game will be played on July 10 at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. Whether Kelsey Mitchell will be in that game is to be determined, but being one of the WNBA’s most durable players will certainly help her case.

Zion Brown is a sports reporter for NextGen Sports, a collaboration with The Recorder Media Group.

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