Emma Meesseman’s mother is a former Belgian player of the year.
She is not, however, the woman the ESPN2 broadcast showed during Game 4 on Tuesday night.
The Washington Mystics have Belgian native Meesseman back for the playoffs this year after she took the 2018 season off due to overuse. She’s been the Mystics’ X-factor, first in their semifinal series and again in the finals as the team looks to win its first championship. The winner-take-all Game 5 is Thursday against the Connecticut Sun.
Her mother, Sonja Tankrey, is stateside for the finals and the ESPN broadcasters highlighted that during the game at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. They used an anecdote about Tankrey, Belgium’s 1983 player of the year, waking up at home at 1 a.m. to watch games but being too wired to go back to sleep.
Except while they shared this, cameras showed a woman who was not Sonja Tankrey. Meesseman, a quiet player who has become “Playoff Emma,” was kind about it Wednesday morning on Twitter after the Sun dominated the first quarter and held off a late Mystics comeback.
The Athletic’s Lindsay Gibbs caught the misidentification in real time since she spoke with the Meesseman matriarch ahead of tip-off.
Emma's mom looks EXACTLY like Emma, which is how I know I was talking to the correct person. Same mannerisms and everything. It was eerie, really. (She was lovely.)— Lindsay Gibbs (@linzsports) October 9, 2019
In 2017, Meesseman shared photos on her Instagram story of her mother and while there are certainly some similarities, they are far from twins. Which leads us to wonder, who exactly is this woman ESPN highlighted as Meesseman’s mom?
We may never find out who that “great mother” is who isn’t Meesseman’s mother. But from broadcaster Rebecca Lobo’s post, it seems we’ll get a look at the real Sonja Tankrey in Game 5.
You have handled this perfectly. In Game 5, so will we. #GreatMotherNotMineEither— Rebecca Lobo (@RebeccaLobo) October 9, 2019
Meesseman was selected with the No. 19 pick in the 2013 WNBA draft and has been a happy surprise for Mystics’ head coach Mike Thibault over the years. She’s averaging 16.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in the finals.
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