Tag Archives: Atlanta Dream

WNBA Post Draft Interview

Game on Game on!

As you all know, the WNBA Draft was held April 12,2018 on ESPN2 to announce the new draft picks for the 2018 WNBA season. We, at Chicks into Sports, love all WNBA squads but our loyalty will always lie with our home team, the Atlanta Dream! The Atlanta Dream had 3 picks, two in the second round and one in the third. In the second round, at the fifteenth pick, the Dream selected Monique Billings from UCLA. Also in the second round, directly after Monique, the Dream selected Kristy Wallace from Baylor. In the third round, at the twenty-seventh pick, the Dream selected Mackenzie Engram from UGA! Lucky us, we got a chance to chat with Head Coach Nicki Collen after the draft ended so that she could share with us her thoughts on her new players and how the night went for her.

Post Draft Interview w/ Coach Nicki Collen,
10:15 PM
April 12,2018

Yakiri: Because of the loss of Sancho Lyttle and Bria Holmes and with the return of Angel Mccoughtry, are we rebuilding the Dream or is that in the cards? What’s going on?
Coach Nicki: I would say that this is not a rebuild. I think that we’re adding players that give us great success and continue to let us play the way we want to play.
Yakiri: Tonight it was mentioned that there was an overwhelming rollercoaster of emotions happening. I just wonder how are you feeling after this awesome, emotional night?
Coach Nicki: The rollercoaster had dips but not big drops. I think it made the first round a little stressful as we watched things unfold. We saw the options we had, being pick 15 and 16 and so definitely emotional but a lot of fun! I’ve got a great staff, a great office and it’s really been fun to share with the whole Dream franchise.
Errica: After acquiring Monique Billings, Kristy Wallace and Mackenzie Engram, what are you predictions for them and their expectations towards them for this season?
Coach Nicki: For those players specifically, Monique Billings is unbelievable with running the floor, rebounding out of her area, just really a special athlete. Her best days are ahead of her but what’s gonna get her there is her work ethic. She plays incredibly hard, she’s really competitive. As we have time to work and develop her, we’ll work her into being a little more of a stretch forward, being able to step out of her range. When she steps out on the floor,she’s gonna compete. She’s definitely one of the most successful players in UCLA history so I’m really excited to add her. Kristy Wallace is someone that I’ve known since she was 16 and I was an assistant coach. When it came time to choose a school, she chose Baylor. She didn’t choose me but I followed her career. I think before she got injured, she was a late first round, early second round pick and I feel like with the depth of our roster, we could wait on her. I think it’s not gonna be easy for anyone to make our roster, a second rounder to make our roster. She’s someone that by drafting her, knowing she’s had an ACL injury and will be recovering all year; she just gives us an asset, someone who will compete for a spot in 2019, so I’m really excited about her. Mackenzie Engram, played at Georgia, from Cobb County, she’s someone who can really run the floor, plays really well for her size. She does a lot of things well and she’s very efficient, had an amazing senior year at Georgia and continues to climb in the SEC. Really good additions for us to look at!
Errica: With so many departures, arrivals and returns, how do you intend to really unite this team and make them one?
Coach Nicki: It starts with our culture, what we do in the locker room, the relationships that we start to build and create on and off the court. This team is really talented and we have the pieces to put together to play a lot of different ways with a lot of different lineups. The players really really can complement one another, so while it won’t be easy and it will take time to put our system in and really get them to understand what we’re looking for and what they should be looking for when they’re out on the court, there’s a genuine excitement for all of them to get into camp and see how they play together and do things differently. I’m just so excited to get all of them in camp and start fitting them together.

Shout out to the Atlanta Dream, we cannot wait to support you all full throttle this season! Congratulations to Monique Billings, Kristy Wallace and Mackenzie Engram and to all the other draft picks on your new professional careers!!

 

Errica Blount
Sports Diva

Atlanta Dream center Elizabeth Williams Signs Multi-Year Contract Extension

ATLANTA, GA – JULY 9: Elizabeth Williams #1 of the Atlanta Dream shoots a lay up against the Dallas Wings on July 9, 2017 at Hank McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

ATLANTA – Atlanta Dream center Elizabeth Williams has signed a multi-year contract extension with the franchise, Head Coach Nicki Collen announced Tuesday. Terms to the agreement were not disclosed per team policy.

“I am really thankful for the Atlanta Dream organization,” Williams said. “They took a chance on me after my rookie year and I’ve had the chance to grow on and off the court ever since. I am really looking forward to building a great culture with this team and in doing so, help bring a championship to Atlanta.”

Williams, a three-year WNBA veteran, enters her third season for the Dream. Since being acquired prior to the 2016 season in a trade with the Connecticut Sun, Williams has started all 68 regular season games and has been named the 2016 WNBA Most Improved Player and earned a reserve spot for the Eastern Conference in the 2017 WNBA All-Star game.

2018 WNBA DRAFT PRESENTED BY STATE FARM® TO BE HELD ON APRIL 12

The 2018 WNBA Draft To Be Held On April 12.

We hold the No. 16 overall pick.

📝: https://t.co/PjQbvwboL2 pic.twitter.com/OW6mTbkVis

NEW YORK, March 12, 2018 – The WNBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm will be held on Thursday, April 12 at the Nike New York Headquarters.  ESPN2 will air the first round beginning at 7 p.m. ET, followed by coverage of rounds two and three on ESPNU at 8 p.m. ET.  The draft will also stream live on the ESPN app.

The Atlanta Dream hold two picks in the upcoming draft, including the No. 16 overall pick. Last year, the Dream selected Brittney Sykes with the No. 7 overall pick.

“We are thrilled that the WNBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm will take place at the recently opened Nike New York Headquarters,” said WNBA President Lisa Borders.  “This is all part of our newly expanded partnership with Nike, a brand that believes in equality and the empowerment of women.  The draft is a pivotal moment for the players who will be selected. For basketball fans, it is that moment when they see their favorite team’s roster taking shape with the tip-off of the new season right around the corner.”

Several top draft prospects and invited guests will be on hand for WNBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm at the Nike New York Headquarters, where they will be immersed in an interactive, experiential atmosphere. The 150,000-square-foot venue, which opened last June, features a 4,000-square-foot indoor basketball court that will serve as the broadcast hub for the draft.  The event is not open to the public.

Atlanta Dream Announce Jr. NBA Coach of the Year Winner

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Dream announced its local Jr. NBA Coach of the Year winner, head coach Chantay Garrett-Frost of Mays High School in Atlanta.

The Jr. NBA Coach of the Year is awarded to local youth basketball coaches influencing young people’s lives on and off the court. The Jr. NBA’s goal is to honor coaches that teach the fundamentals and values of the game, and highlight the positive impact that coaches can have on the youth basketball experience.

Local youth basketball coaches nominated Coach Frost for the honor and the Dream handpicked her. Coach Frost will receive a trophy and recognition on JrNBA.com.

Dream Announce Two Preseason Games

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Dream will open its 11th season with a preseason game at Chicago on Sunday, May 6 at 4 p.m. ET. The game will be played at the Sky’s new home, Wintrust Arena.

This will be Coach Nicki Collen’s debut game as the Dream’s head coach.

“I am excited about both opportunities in the preseason,” Head coach Nicki Colleen said. “Both games give us a chance to see who shines when the lights come on and begin the process of finding rotations that work well together. The competition will also help our staff assess who should be on our opening day roster as we begin this 2018 campaign.”

Gender Equality in Sports

 

In 2015, Gilbert Arenas, a retired NBA player, who is known for having “no chill” made some very negative remarks about WNBA players. Arenas “recommended that the women dress like they are getting ready to go work at a strip club rather than play basketball to make the league more popular.”, which led me to the question of why women have to look a certain way to get a man’s attention, especially if they play the same sport. The WNBA released a statement about his remarks on the WNBA, in return, defending the players and clarifying that his statements were absolutely wrong.
Recently, Angel McCoughtry, WNBA player for the Atlanta Dream made a statement in an interview where she said “Pay us like you pay the men.”. She went into further detail on how she feels bad about having to go out of the country to get paid more for what she loves to do and wants a solution for the unequal pay situation that is still prevalent for women in professional sports. Also, she responded to negative comments on her Instagram page to speak for all women who feel how she does:

“So basically I have been getting a lot of negative messages lately all because I said I want to get paid more in my own country! In particular I’ve noticed most of the really mean-spirited comments have been coming from men who seem determined to compare us women athletes to our male counterparts. My question is why? Why invest so much hateful energy into knocking the female athlete? Clearly our bodies are not made the same and our games are different so why make the comparison? I wish they would judge us on our own merit, or if not at least judge us in the one area where our game and the men’s game is the same – That is when we go out there our main goal is to entertain! We live for the smiles and the roar of the crowd, we live to win, for ourselves and for our amazing fans! And sure we enjoy the fact that we’re paid to do it, wouldn’t you? Why hate on that? For all the people out there who were upset by me saying I wish I could get paid more I offer this…the next time you go to your boss and ask for a raise for the hard work you do I want you to picture me routing you on. Trust me I route for success, for me and for others. Why should we ever route against one another? As for the game I play, the game I love, if you don’t like it that’s cool but the negativity is so pointless. I honestly feel though that most people who slam the women’s game have never really given it a chance. I always tell people come try a game once, and if you don’t like it then I will refund your ticket myself. Trust me I haven’t had to refund a ticket yet! That being said if you want to get at me with a comment? How about suggesting constructive ways to help us make the game more entertaining? Instead of hurting why not help? Help me continue to help my teams win! Help me to grow my game’s popularity! Help me to continue to help my country win Gold 🥇 ! Help me to continue to be great !! Help ME to entertain YOU!!! Encourage don’t discourage!!”

Questions I have about this include reasons of why we’re still talking about gender equality in sports in 2018?

Why are women so unworthy of attention or equal pay to men in the same exact career field? Why should women have to look a certain way to gain attention from men? Why should men and women be against each other when support could just unite them? How can sports get more entertaining for both genders to gain equal attention? To what extent can women reach men to gather more support for women in the world of sports? Another interesting point I thought of was how come we rarely see players of the same sport but of different gender dating or hanging out? How can we solve this socioeconomic issue and bring both women and men in the same career field closer?

 

 

Errica Blount
Sports Diva-Co Host of Chicks Into Sports

Atlanta Dream Re-Signs Forward Damiris Dantas

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Dream have entered in to a new contract with forward Damiris Dantas, the team announced Wednesday.

“I am thrilled to announce the signing of Damiris Dantas,” head coach Nicki Collen said. “DD has the size, skill, and strength to score in a variety of ways for us. She can knock down the three, attack the basket off the dribble or score on the low block.

“I am excited to see how her game grows as she enters her fourth WNBA season.”

Dream Sign Forward Adaora Elonu to Training Camp Contract

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Dream have signed forward Adaora Elonu to a training camp contract, the team announced Tuesday.

“I am excited to see what Adaora can do in our camp,” head coach Nicki Collen said. “She is a versatile forward that is comfortable on the perimeter or in the post. I believe her greatest strength is her ability to defend multiple positions.”

Elonu, who currently plays for CB Avenida in the Spanish League, was a four-year letterwinner for Texas A&M and a member of the 2010-11 National Championship team. In Spain, Elonu is averaging 10.3 points and 3.2 rebounds for the first-place squad. She has played even better against EuroLeague competition, leading her team with 12.0 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Checkout Today’s 2.9.2018 Show with Special Guest Atlanta Dream Imani McGee-Stafford

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Posted by Yakiri Thomas on Friday, February 9, 2018