DREAM TO FACE GREAT BRITAIN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM IN FIRST EVER EUROPEAN WNBA GAME

- WNBA Live- Manchester 2011 Follows Announcement that Team GB Basketball Will Participate in London 2012 Olympic Games -

ATLANTA, March 17, 2011— The Standard Life Great Britain Women’s basketball team will play the Atlanta Dream of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) at the Manchester Evening News Arena (MEN) on Sun. May 29 as part of WNBA Live – Manchester 2011 it was announced today by the WNBA, Manchester City Council and British Basketball.

This announcement follows Sunday’s important decision that the Great Britain men’s and women’s basketball teams will participate in the 2012 Olympics. The game also marks the first WNBA game to be played in Europe and is only the second time the league has held a game outside of the United States. Founded in 1997, the WNBA is the world’s longest-running women’s professional sports league.

Tickets for WNBA Live – Manchester 2011 will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday 22nd March at www.ticketmaster.co.uk, www.men-arena.com, or via phone at 0844 847 8000.

Standard Life GB player, Jo Leedham, said: “I think it is a fantastic opportunity for the GB team and obviously is a great moment for the WNBA to come over and play in Europe. I think it is great for women's basketball especially in the UK, and by having such a quality team in the Atlanta Dream as opponents, I feel it can only inspire many more young players in Britain. It will be a huge test for our team, but will help in our preparations and will be an exciting moment for GB and for the WNBA alike.”

“My teammates and I are looking forward to the opportunity to compete in the first WNBA game to be played in Europe,” said Dream forward Angel McCoughtry. “Women’s basketball is truly a global game and that is something we want to continue to grow. This is an exciting way for us to tip off our season and promote the game leading up to the 2012 Olympics.”

The Atlanta Dream made the WNBA Playoffs the past two seasons and reached the 2010 WNBA Finals in only its third year in the league. Led by McCoughtry, a rising star and 2009 Rookie of the Year, the Dream ranked as the WNBA’s top scoring team (95.5 ppg) last season. Other marquee Dream players include Iziane Castro Marques, who averaged a career-high 16.9 points last season, and Sancho Lyttle, who averaged 9.9 rebounds, third most in the WNBA.

The Standard Life GB Women – who will be making their first-ever Olympic appearance in 2012 – enjoyed a very successful summer in 2010 when they qualified for the upcoming EuroBasket 2011 for the first time in their history. Jo Leedham, drafted by the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun in 2010, is a vital member of the team.

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said, “This is great for sports fans in Manchester, as we will welcome some of the greatest basketball players in the world to our city. The match will attract thousands of visitors to our city for an exceptional opportunity to see WNBA stars perform on this side of the Atlantic.”

WNBA Live – Manchester 2011, is part of a multiyear partnership between Manchester City Council, the NBA, WNBA and USA Basketball that will give basketball fans in Manchester the opportunity to attend live games in the city. Along with the WNBA game and the USA Basketball games scheduled for July 2012, the partnership will also bring the first-ever NBA preseason game to Manchester in the autumn of 2013, marking the first time an NBA team has played in the UK outside of London.

The Atlanta Dream is the defending Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Eastern Conference Champion. The team tips-off the 2011 season at home on June 5, versus the New York Liberty at Philips Arena. The team enters its fourth season this summer as part of the WNBA, the world’s longest-running women’s professional sports league. For ticket information, visit www.AtlantaDream.net or call 1 (877) 977-7729.