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    Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Dream Facebook Page
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    For several years there has been a grassroots movement to bring an NBA team to Louisville.

    But maybe the city should get its high tops wet first with a WNBA team.

    Angel McCoughtry would love to see that happen.

    “Hopefully we can get some professional teams here in Louisville, a WNBA team maybe,” the former University of Louisville women’s basketball star and current WNBA all-star for the Atlanta Dream said Saturday night. “Hopefully that’ll happen.”

    McCoughtry and fellow former UofL star, and her current teammate, Shoni Schimmel were in town last weekend for a WNBA exhibition doubleheader at the KFC Yum! Center. The Connecticut Sun beat the Indiana Fever 76-68 in the first game Saturday night before the Washington Mystics downed the Dream 79-55 in the second. A crowd of 6,347 showed up for the event.

    While it wasn’t quite the turn out that event organizers had hoped for, and was quite a bit under the league’s average attendance (7,578) last year, it was more than the Dream, Sun and Tulsa Shock averaged for home games last year. The Shock had the league’s lowest attendance last year, drawing 5,566 fans per home game, while the Dream averaged 5,864 and the Sun 5,980 respectively. By comparison the league champion Phoenix Mercury led the WNBA, drawing an average of 9,557 fans per home game.

    Asked after the exhibition if Louisville could support a WNBA team McCoughtry said she wholeheartedly believed it could.

    “Yep,” she said. “If that is to happen they just need to market it the right way, get some good players in here, have a pretty good team that can win some games because I think they’ll be excited to see the Candace Parkers, the Brittney Griners, the Diana Taurasis come in town, and Shoni Schimmels.”

    While most of the WNBA teams have a tandem NBA team in the same city as well (see Phoenix, Minneapolis, New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Chicago, San Antonio and Atlanta) there are three teams (Seattle, Connecticut and Tulsa) that do not. One thing those latter three cities don’t have, however, is a state-of-the-art NBA-caliber arena (i.e. the Yum! Center).

    “This is just like all the NBA arenas that we play in,” McCoughtry said. “In the WNBA, it’s one of the top.”  

    Photo courtesy the Atlanta Dream Facebook Page

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