The team, which was 14-11 and second in the league’s Eastern Conference earlier this week, was visiting the Douglasville school as a fundraiser for its girls’ basketball program. It was the fifth and final stop on the Dream’s 2013 Take the Show on the Road campaign which began May 18 at Veterans High in Kathleen, Ga., and traveled to schools in Gainesville, Lithonia and Morrow.
Atlanta Dream account executive Beth Walsh explained the team has done such a tour annually since 2010. They make appearances which serve as fundraisers at select schools statewide. The cost of admission is $15 – which provides access to an Atlanta Dream game and the open practice.
“I talked to Coach [Chris] Long and he said they were looking to do a fundraiser and this seemed like a perfect fit,” Walsh said.
This event served as the Dream’s official practice for the day. According to Walsh, it was “exactly what you would see if it was closed doors.”
The entire team was present, with the exception of guard/forward Armintie Herrington who was told to stay home due to a head injury suffered in Saturday’s home game against the Chicago Sky.
“We just had a game the other day so [head coach Fred Williams] is going light on us, but it’s pretty much a normal practice,” said guard Tiffany Hayes.
Long, the Chapel Hill girls’ head basketball coach, said, “It’s always good to interact with pro players and see what hard work and dedication can get you.”
After the Dream finished their drills, the players and coaches hosted several competitions for the viewing audience.
Fans were asked to compete in shooting drills against each other as well as some of the Dream players.
Once all the drills and shootouts were done, the players introduced themselves and the autograph session began, allowing every attendee to receive an autograph from all Atlanta Dream players.
With the 2013 tour over, Hayes said these practices are fun and a good experience for their fans.
“They never get to see what goes on behind the scenes, just at the games so I think it’s pretty cool for them…[My favorite part is] getting to see the fans happy — giving them shirts and signing autographs and seeing them smiling,” said Hayes.