Professional basketball has taken Chasity Melvin to teams in four countries and three states, so she is accustomed to adjusting to new situations. Melvin practiced with her newest team, the Washington Mystics, for the first time yesterday morning, and she has already figured out what the biggest change is going to be.

"I don't like the traffic" in Washington, Melvin said. "I'm from the country in North Carolina. But I lived in cities overseas, so I learned how to drive in the city. I can adjust. I can honk my horn."

The on-court adjustments should be easier for Melvin, who is in her seventh season of professional basketball. The Mystics selected the 6-foot-3 center with the second pick of the dispersal draft in January and hope she will provide the interior presence that was missing in last year's 9-25 campaign.

"This team lacked offensive scoring in the post last year," Coach Michael Adams said. "Hopefully she'll have a presence like [former Mystic] Vicky Bullett had."

In five seasons with the defunct Cleveland Rockers, Melvin averaged 11.1 points and 5.5 rebounds, and shot 46.6 percent. Last year, she set franchise season records for points scored (444) and rebounds (215).

She took a flight from Warsaw on Saturday, but spent the weekend at home in Roseboro, N.C., with her family. Melvin drove to Washington on Tuesday, arriving just before the Mystics faced the Indiana Fever in a preseason game. Washington lost, 83-80, was outrebounded 35-23 and outscored in the lane 34-20.

"I think I can bring consistency on the inside, I can bring leadership, and I'm a vet -- finally," Melvin said.

-- Camille Powell