Friday, July 22, 2011

Lions, Fires & Towels Squares . . . Oh My!

Back in those dark and dismal early days of the Mystics franchise, one of the constant bright spots for the BCs was someone whose name was never announced to those large and boisterous crowds in the MCI Center: teenaged "towel girl" Carolyn Malachi.

For several seasons, Carolyn was there, game in and game out, sitting crossed-legged on the floor right in front of our baseline seats next to the Visitors' Bench. Countless times every game, she jumped up and down . . . collecting and distributing players' warmups, handing out towels, passing out cups of Gatorade. We chatted with Carolyn quite a lot during those summers. Though still a teenager, she impressed us as a lovely, self-confident young lady. She was friendly, dependable, and a great representive of the Mystics organization. And like so many of the girls in the arena, she aspired to play college basketball.

Being a "towel girl" wasn't, of course, a career internship or resume-building summer job, but Carolyn did it well, and always with a smile. The BCs have seen a lot of towel girls -- and boys -- over the years, but Carolyn set the standard . . . she was our All Star at that position.

Eventually, Carolyn went off to college, and we lost touch. A decade went by. Then, sometime in the last year or so, we saw her on the local news . . . a would-be passenger (headed for Africa!) stranded at National Airport during a weather shut-down. There was "our" Carolyn . . . all grown up!

But imagine our (delighted) surprise, when back in February of this year, the BCs opened the Washington Post Style section and saw Carolyn again . . . this time nominated for a Grammy!! Yes, from Mystics towel girl to Grammy nominee!! Carolyn (whose web site is here) didn't win the Grammy -- this time-- but still, just to be nominated . . . how cool is that?!!

And then today -- in the Washington Post Weekend Section -- there's a big picture of Carolyn again and a full page article about her! Headlining tonight at Neo Soul Beat Night at Carter Barron. That Carolyn has come so wonderfully far since we first knew her makes us feel a bit old, but mostly it makes us feel happy . . . for Carolyn. Even when she was a high-schooler, we knew she was exceptional. Now we have proof! So talented. So special. Carolyn, the BCs are proud of you!

P.S. Back in those early days of the WNBA, when towels carried team logos and not the name of a sponsor like Gatorade, Carolyn's job included the daunting task of preventing fans (like the BCs and others in our row) from walking off with official Mystics-logo-branded player towels. Carolyn knew we would never do anything to get her in trouble. So our faux efforts to "steal" a towel were kind of a little game we all played with her. But at the last game of the season, after the final buzzer sounded (when those Mystics-logo towels were no longer needed for the players) . . . well, let's just say that certain limited-edition linens came into the BCs' possession, and no amount of coercion will get us to tell anyone who gave them to us how we got them.


At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such great news. Hooray for Carolyn!

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave it up to Basketcases to ALWAYS find a meaningful POSITIVE story to share! More importantly they show why we respect them so much! Great update!

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Smart Chick said...

WOW!!! Hello, my friends! Please forgive the brevity of my response; I am quite speechless. We should catch up before the season ends. Instead of towels, I will have an extra large hug for each BC.

Thank you for keeping an eye on me. I feel so loved.

- Carolyn

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Basketcases-you have wonderful friends! It is great to see younger people grow and develop in such a positive way!!

I also am thrilled that the WNBA has made it 15 years. A lot of us remember quite well when there was no women's professional league in basketball at all. It took many attempts but I am so glad we have made it this far.

SR-Section 112

At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Section 104 said...

BCs: can you put a bug in the MFO's ear that they should have Carolyn sing the Star Spangled Banner at one of the games?

And do you have any scoop on acquiring DeMya Walker? Will she be suited up for tomorrow's game?

At 8:21 AM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Dear Section 104,

We would love it if Carolyn sang the National Anthem.

As for DeMya...we know of no reason why she shouldn't be available to play tomorrow.


At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Section 104 said...

Thanks - we're hoping she'll have a "Gardin-style" first game.
It would be nice if this was listed in the WNBA transactions, and she appeared on the Mystics player roster, but I'll settle for her wearing a Mystics uniform.

At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We acquired Demaya Walker? Hoping she can shoot better than Niki Anoiski.

At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great success story. It would be nice if Carolyn could be our half-time entertainment or have a post-game concert. I would definitely stay for the concert, as well as, invite others so that they can enjoy the game and concert.


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