Q&A With Coach Meadors

Izi Castro Marques Signs Three-Year Contract Extension

Atlanta Dream Head Coach Marynell Meadors discusses forward Izi Castro Marques’s recent contract extension. The six-year veteran signed a three-year contract extension on September 12, 2008. She averaged 9.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game this season for the Dream and started in 20 games.

Q: Talk about the importance of re-signing Castro-Marques to a new deal.

We have Izi signed for another three years. Being a veteran at age 26 is really huge because I think her best years are still in front of her. To have her under contract and not have to worry about whether she is going to come back or not is really huge because then we can move on to other issues that we need to work on with our roster.

Q: Can you talk about her play during the 2008 season?

I thought her play towards the end of this season was really good. She was gone for about 2.5 weeks with the Olympic qualifying tournament, which I thought put her behind a little bit with our team. But once she came back and started getting used to our system again, I thought she really played well. Against Los Angeles (on September 11) was a big crowning moment for her in that she really played outstanding basketball.

Q: What do you expect from her in 2009? What are some areas in which she can still improve?

I think she can work on her floor game a little more. She can still improve defensively and we’ve talked about her doing a better job on the defensive end. Offensively I think she will be able to run the floor a little bit better and I think she got more of a taste of that at the end of the season. Changing our lineup around a little bit with adding Nikki Teasley at point guard and being able to shift Ivory to two-guard, I think Teasley will be able to see her a little bit better because of her height. I think Izi can really run the floor and fill the lanes which will result in some fast break opportunities for us.

Q: What are some of the intangibles that Castro Marques adds to this team?

I think she adds good team chemistry. She knows the value of working hard and she comes to work hard every single day. That’s one of the things that she brings and she sets a great example for the younger players. She works well within the team, she wants to win, and she is a winner.

Q: What are her plans for the offseason?

She will probably go play overseas sometime at the end of October or November. She will go somewhere; she’s just not sure where yet.

Q: What was her reaction to signing the new deal?

She loves our organization, she loves the city of Atlanta, and she especially loves all of our fans.