Born: May 30, 1996
Myisha Hines-Allen was born May 30, 1996 in Montclair. She was one of six children born to Kim and Robert Allen. The Allens were an athletic family, with an emphasis on basketball. Her younger brother Josh was a talented power forward who switched to football and became a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Myisha was a fan of the New York Liberty. As she approached her final height of 6’1”, she honed her hoops skills playing club basketball for the New Jersey Sparks and for Bianca Brown’s Montclair High Mounties. She was named Essex County Player of the Year and a McDonald’s All-American as a senior in 2014 and finished her prep career averaging 17.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Myisha earned a scholarship to Louisville and made the starting lineup a few games into the 2014–15 season. She made the All-ACC freshman team and the All-Academic team. As a sophomore, Myisha earned All-America recognition and was among the ACC leaders in scoring and rebounding. In her junior year, Louisville made it to the Sweet 16 before losing to Baylor. Myisha led the ACC in rebounding and had the most double-doubles, with 17. She capped off her college career as ACC Tournament MVP and was All-ACC for third time in a row. The Cardinals made it to the Final Four, but lost an overtime thriller to Mississippi State. Louisville ended up with a #3 national ranking.
In the 2018 WNBA Draft, Myisha was the 19th player taken. The Washington Mystics made her their second-round choice. Ariel Atkins, a guard out of Texas, was their first pick. Myisha joined a team led by superstar Elena Delle Donna that ended up going all the way to the WNBA Finals. The rookie played about 10 minutes a game, contributing 3.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per appearance. Her playoff numbers were about the same as the Mystics beat the LA Sparks and Atanta Dream before flling 3–0 to Breanna Stewart’s Seattle Storm.
In 2019, Belgian forward Emma Meesseman returned from a year playing for her home country in the Women’s World Cup tournament—great news for the Mystics but bad news for Myisha, who saw he playing time dwindle. Led by Delle Donna—who won her second MVP award—and Meesseman, Washington finished 26–8, earning a double-bye into the semifinals. The Mystics wiped out the Las Vegas Aces 3 games to 1 and then defeated the Connecticut Sun 3 games to 2 to win the league title.
In 2020, Delle Donna took the season off to rehab a back injury and two other starters opted out because of COVID-19. Myisha stepped into a starting role and became the team’s star, despite being an undersized post player. The Mystics were unable to repeat as WNBA champions, losing 12 of 13 games during August and barely squeezing into the playoff picture in the final week. During their final, desperate run, Myisha took her game up a notch and was named the WNBA’s Player of the Month. She averaged 19.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists in the season’s last 7 games. Washington went 5–2 to earn a one-game elimination date with the Phoenix Mercury. Myisha’s final number for 2020 were 17.0/8.9/2.6 and she shot 51 percent—including 26 of 61 threes. Her best performance was a 35-point, 12-rebound game against the Dallas Wings.
The game against the Mercury was under control until the final minutes of the 4th quarter, as the Mystics saw a double-digit lead melt away. Myisha had 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting to go with 9 rebounds. Washington led 84–82 but lost on a buzzer-beating three-pointer, 85–84. While the Mystics‘ roster is likely to look a lot different in 2021, Myisha—a no-brainer pick for WNBA Most Improved honors—is now a linchpin in the team’s future success.