Atlanta Dream

Atlanta Dream
Conference Eastern
Founded 2007
History Atlanta Dream
Arena Philips Arena (2007–present)
Hank McCamish Pavilion (2017–2018)
City Atlanta, Georgia
Team colors Red, blue, light blue, navy, white[1]
Owner(s) Dream Too LLC
General manager Angela Taylor
Head coach Michael Cooper
Assistant coaches Karleen Thompson
Miles Cooper
Championships 0
Conference titles 3 (2010, 2011, 2013)
Mascot Star
Official website

The Atlanta Dream is a professional basketball team based in Atlanta, playing in the Eastern Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team was founded before the 2008 WNBA season began. The team is owned by Dream Too LLC, which is composed of two Atlanta businesswomen: Mary Brock, and Kelly Loeffler. Like some other WNBA teams, the Dream is not affiliated with an NBA counterpart, even though the Dream share the market with the Atlanta Hawks.

The Dream has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in seven of its nine years in Atlanta and has reached the WNBA Finals three times. The franchise has been home to many high-quality players such as University of Louisville standouts Angel McCoughtry and Shoni Schimmel, former Finals MVP Betty Lennox, and Brazilian sharpshooter Izi Castro Marques. In 2010, the Dream went to the WNBA Finals but fell short to Seattle. They lost to the Minnesota Lynx in the 2011 and 2013 WNBA Finals. They have been in the finals for three of four years, but haven't won a single game in them, going 0-9.

Franchise history

Franchise Inception

Even before the success of the United States women's basketball team in the 1996 Olympic Games, the American Basketball League had interest in placing a women's professional basketball team in Atlanta. Plans were made to place a women's pro team in Atlanta as early as 1995.[2] Eight of the 12 Olympians would play on ABL teams when the league began play in October 1996.[3] The Atlanta Glory played at Forbes Arena and would last two seasons before folding before the start of the 1998–99 season, which would be the ABL's final.

The dream of a new team

Atlanta had been mentioned as a possible future city for WNBA expansion, but efforts did not come together until the beginning of 2007. An organizing committee with Atlanta businessmen and politicians began the effort to attract an expansion team.[4] The inability of the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA to draw crowds was a concern of the WNBA, and the committee kicked off an effort in February 2007 to gain volunteers and petition signatures.

Philips Arena, the Gwinnett Arena and Alexander Memorial Coliseum were candidates for venues. By May 2007, the committee had over 1,000 pledges for season tickets, although the goal was 8,000 season tickets in ninety days.[5][6] By July the committee had 1,200 commitments. The next step was to find an owner for the team.[7]

Dream game in 2008

On October 16, 2007 word broke that Ron Terwilliger, an Atlanta businessman and CEO of a national real estate company would be the future owner of an Atlanta franchise. The next day, at a news conference at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park, WNBA president Donna Orender made the announcement that Atlanta would officially be granted a WNBA expansion franchise.[8]

Building the Dream

On November 27, 2007 Atlanta named Marynell Meadors the first head coach/general manager in franchise history. For Meadors, a coach with extensive experience at the college level, this was her second role as a coach/general manager in the WNBA. Meadors had been one of the WNBA's first eight coaches as the head coach/general manager of the Charlotte Sting when that team began in 1997. Afterwards, Meadors had served as a scouting director for the Miami Sol and had been an assistant coach under Richie Adubato and Tree Rollins for the Washington Mystics.[9]

Former NBA player Dennis Rodman volunteered his name as head coach for the Dream. Terwilliger declined, stating that he wanted someone with more coaching experience and he felt that the head coach should be a woman, as the WNBA was a women's league.[10]

On December 5, 2007, an online contest was announced for people to choose the team name and team colors – the final choice would rest with owner Ron Terwilliger. The names offered as choices were "Dream", "Flight", "Surge" and "Sizzle". There were also options for team colors such as lime green or hot pink. Voters had four different names and four different colors from which to choose.[11]

Atlanta's WNBA franchise announced that the team name would be the Dream on January 23, 2008. The name was inspired, in part, by the famous speech of Atlanta native Martin Luther King, Jr.[12] The team colors would be sky blue, red, and white.[13]

Atlanta held their expansion draft on February 6, 2008 when they selected one player from each of the 13 teams in the league. Atlanta traded Roneeka Hodges and their number four pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft to the Seattle Storm for Izi Castro Marques and Seattle's eighth pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft. Also, the Dream traded the 18th pick and LaToya Thomas to the Detroit Shock for Ivory Latta.

Living the Dream (2008–present)

From May 17, 2008 with a season opening loss against the Connecticut Sun to July 3, 2008 with a home loss against the Houston Comets, the Dream lost 17 consecutive games, setting the WNBA all-time record for both consecutive losses and losses from opening day. The 2006 Chicago Sky had previously lost 13 consecutive games, and the 2002 Detroit Shock had opened their season 0–13. (The Portland Fire had lost 14 straight games over two seasons, ending the 2001 season with 11 straight losses and opening 2002 with three straight losses.) They later finished with a 4–30 record.

On July 5, 2008, the Dream earned their first win in Atlanta against the Chicago Sky, ending the losing streak. They beat the Sky 91–84.

The 2008/2009 offseason was a busy one. Head coach/general manager Marynell Meadors did not want a repeat of 2008. She made key moves by acquiring players such as Sancho Lyttle, Nikki Teasley, Chamique Holdsclaw, Angel McCoughtry, and Michelle Snow.

In 2009, Atlanta reached the playoffs at 18–16, exceeding their previous record by 14 wins. Despite being in the playoffs, the Dream ended their season in disappointment and lost in the first round to the 2008 champion Detroit Shock in a sweep. After the season, their coach, Marynell Meadors, was awarded the Coach of the Year Award.

The Dream's owner, Ron Terwilliger, announced in August that he wanted to give up his position as the primary owner of the Atlanta franchise. On October 29, 2009, Kathy Betty took control of the team.[14]

The 2010 season proved even better for the Dream. Although finishing in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, the Dream sprinted through the first two rounds of the playoffs. On September 7, 2010, the Dream secured a trip to the WNBA Finals with a win over the New York Liberty, as they swept New York in two games in the Eastern Conference Finals. They eventually faced the best team in the league, the 28–6 Seattle Storm. Seattle took the first two games at home with two close wins. Atlanta needed to win game three in order to keep the series alive. Seattle was too much to handle as they completed the sweep and won the series.[15] Even though they were swept, the Dream did not lose any game by a margin of more than three points.

Addressing arguably Atlanta's biggest concern, the team traded for All-Star point guard Lindsey Harding prior to the 2011 season. Despite the major addition, the Dream struggled to open the season, starting just 2–7 due to an injury that sidelined Angel McCoughtry and overseas commitments by Sancho Lyttle. The team did not give up, however, and went on an impressive run of 14 wins and 5 losses after the All Star break. They carried that momentum into the playoffs, sweeping the Connecticut Sun and defeating the Indiana Fever to return to the WNBA Finals. But, once again they would be denied, losing to the formidable 27–7 Minnesota Lynx in three games.

They played in the 2016 WNBA playoffs.

Current home

The Atlanta Dream currently play in Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta. In 2013, the team qualified for the WNBA Finals, but a scheduling conflict forced them to play home games at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. For the 2016 playoffs, should the Dream qualify, as well as the entirety of the 2017 and 2018 WNBA seasons, the Dream will play home games at Georgia Tech's Hank McCamish Pavilion due to planned renovations at Philips Arena.[16]

Season-by-season records


Current roster

Atlanta Dream roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight DOB From Yrs
G 10 United States Ajavon, Matee 5' 8" (1.73m) 160 lb (73kg) 05-07-1986 Rutgers 8
G 23 United States Clarendon, Layshia 5' 9" (1.75m) 140 lb (64kg) 05-02-1991 UC Berkeley 3
G 8 Puerto Rico Cortijo, Carla 5' 8" (1.73m) 135 lb (61kg) 07-21-1987 Texas 1
C 12 Brazil Dantas, Damiris (S) 6' 3" (1.91m) 196 lb (89kg) 11-17-1992 Brazil 2
C 34 United States Gatling, Markeisha 6' 5" (1.96m) 195 lb (88kg) 07-14-1992 North Carolina State 2
F 21 United States Gray, Reshanda 6' 2" (1.88m) 192 lb (87kg) 06-01-1993 UC Berkeley 1
G 15 United States Hayes, Tiffany 5' 10" (1.78m) 155 lb (70kg) 09-20-1989 Connecticut 4
C 14 United States Hollivay, Rachel 6' 4" (1.93m) 210 lb (95kg) 10-24-1993 Rutgers R
G 32 United States Holmes, Bria 6' 1" (1.85m) 170 lb (77kg) 04-19-1994 West Virginia R
F 20 Spain Lyttle, Sancho 6' 4" (1.93m) 175 lb (79kg) 09-20-1983 Houston 11
F 35 United States McCoughtry, Angel 6' 1" (1.85m) 160 lb (73kg) 09-10-1986 Louisville 7
G 0 United States Simmons, Meighan 5' 9" (1.75m) 140 lb (64kg) 01-25-1992 Tennessee R
F/C 52 United States Williams, Elizabeth 6' 3" (1.91m) 192 lb (87kg) 06-23-1993 Duke 1

Head coach
United States Michael Cooper (New Mexico)
Assistant coaches
United States Miles Cooper (Southern California)
United States Karleen Thompson (Southern California)
Athletic trainer
United States Michael Douglas (Morehouse)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured

WNBA roster page

Other rights owned

Nationality Name Years pro Last played Drafted
Hungary Dalma Ivanyi 5 2006 1999

Former players

Coaches and staff



Head coaches

Atlanta Dream head coaches

General managers

Assistant coaches


Atlanta Dream statistics

Media coverage

Currently, some Dream games are broadcast on Fox Sports South (FS-S) and SportSouth (SSO), which are local television stations for the Southern United States. More often than not, NBA TV will pick up the feed from the local broadcast, which is shown nationally. Broadcasters for the Dream games are Bob Rathbun and LaChina Robinson. Prior to the 2010 season, the Dream had a deal with Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS). Games on that station were called by Art Eckman and LaChina Robinson.

All games (excluding blackout games, which are available on are broadcast to the WNBA LiveAccess game feeds on the league website. Furthermore, some Dream games are broadcast nationally on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The WNBA has reached an eight-year agreement with ESPN, which will pay right fees to the Dream, as well as other teams in the league.[17]

All-time notes

Regular season attendance

Regular season all-time attendance

Draft picks




Honors and awards


  1. "Atlanta Dream Reproduction Guideline Sheet". NBA Media Central. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  2. "Women's Basketball Timeline: 1990s". Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  3. "American Basketball League profile by Interbasket". Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  4. "Atlanta group launching effort to attract WNBA team". USA Today. 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  5. "WNBA-ATL website.". From Archived from the original on 2007-06-23. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  6. "Atlanta courts WNBA.". Southern Voice. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  7. "Atlanta committee looking for potential owner for WNBA team.". USA Today. 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  8. "Atlanta lands WNBA's 14th team.". USA Today. 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  9. "Atlanta Franchise Names Marynell Meadors Head Coach and General Manager.". WNBA. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  10. "Atlanta WNBA owner says he's not interested in Rodman as coach.". ESPN. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  11. "Names in the Game". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  12. "Atlanta Dream video at 13:15". Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  13. "Atlanta's WNBA team named Atlanta Dream". WNBA. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  14. Swartz, Kristi E. (2009-10-29). "Atlanta businesswoman Kathy Betty to buy WNBA team". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on November 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  15. Seattle @ Atlanta Game 3 Archived September 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. Vivlamore, Chris. "What Philips Arena renovations will mean for Hawks seasons". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  17. "WNBA Extends TV Rights Deal with ESPN and ABC". Sports Business. 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2009-08-04.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Indiana Fever
WNBA Eastern Conference Champions
2010 (First title)
2011 (Second title)
Succeeded by
Indiana Fever
Preceded by
Indiana Fever
WNBA Eastern Conference Champions
2013 (Third title)
Succeeded by
Chicago Sky
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