Atlanta Dream Shoni Schimmel makes her WBNA debut against San Antonio Stars
Dream to recognize diverse roster with series of Heritage games
ATLANTA — The WNBA Atlanta Dream will begin a Heritage Fridays initiative when it celebrates Native American Night on Friday, May 30, with a 7:30 p.m. game against Seattle. It will be the first of four Heritage Fridays games that the Dream will hold this season, celebrating the diversity of its roster, its fanbase, and of the WNBA as a whole.
Other Heritage Fridays games will include Brazilian Night on June 13 vs. Minnesota, French Night on July 25 vs. Chicago and Caribbean Night on Aug. 15 vs. Tulsa. All games tip off at 7:30 p.m.
Native American Night will be held in honor of rookie guard Shoni Schimmel, who grew up on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon.
The opening game in the series – Native American Night – will include a halftime performance by The Red Road and Elks Soldiers, and the first 2,000 fans will receive turquoise Shoni Schimmel wristbands.
Brazilian Night will recognize Dream centers Erika de Souza and Nadia Colhado, who are both members of the Brazilian National Team.
French point guard Céline Dumerc – the captain of the French National Team – will be the focal point of French Night, and Caribbean Night will celebrate forward/center Aneika Henry and forward Sancho Lyttle, who were born in Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, respectively.
“We are proud of the cultural diversity of our team and we look forward to celebrating that this season and beyond,” said Dream President and General Manager Angela Taylor. “Much like our team, our fans and the Atlanta community are also very diverse, and we look forward to joining together to honor several different heritages throughout the season. Sport is a great illustration of the power in bringing different people together for a common goal, so the Dream organization is embracing the opportunity to reinforce that concept through our Heritage Fridays platform.”
Each game during Heritage Fridays will include entertainment and interactive elements that are specific to the culture being recognized during that game.
The Dream has one of the most culturally diverse team in the WNBA, as seven of the league’s 19 foreign-born players are on Atlanta’s roster. In addition to those already listed, guard Matee Ajavon is a native of Liberia, while guard Inga Orekhova was born in the Ukraine and raised in Austria.
The three-time Eastern Conference Champion Atlanta Dream is in its seventh season in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Dream has qualified for the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, including conference titles in 2013, 2011 and 2010. Season tickets and single-game tickets for the 2014 season are now available and can be purchased by calling (877) 977-7729 or visiting www.AtlantaDream.net.
The next home game is scheduled for Sunday, May 25, against the Indiana Fever at 6 p.m. The complete 2014 schedule can be found atwww.wnba.com/dream/schedule.