Atlanta Dream finally hits the court

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The Atlanta Dream provided a sneak peek at the WNBA’s newest team on Saturday, taking to the court at Philips Arena for its first preseason game.

The Dream lost 86-80 to the Los Angeles Sparks. But the game provided a much-needed chance to iron out the kinks both in the roster and operations of a team that was created just last October. The Dream didn’t even have a full roster until last month.

After following the development of the expansion team, an effort that went public in February 2006, it was exciting to finally see the Dream play basketball last night.

Team stats put attendance at 7,932 for the game, less than half of what Philips can hold. The loudest cheers seemed to directed at Candace Parker, the Tennessee standout who just weeks ago was leading the Lady Vols to their second consecutive NCCA national championship. There’s no shortage of Tennessee fans in metro Atlanta and several wore the school’s trademark orange last night. Parker (right photo) scored 14 points for the Sparks.

But let’s hope the Dream and players including Ann Strother (photo above) will continue to attract fans and interest as the team pushes towards its May 23 home opener.

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