May 30, 2023
Locked on Women’s Basketball: Haley Jones, Allisha Gray are fitting Atlanta Dream culture just fine
Howard and Gabriella discuss the Dream's culture, Allisha Gray and Haley Jones transition to the pros
It’s time for another Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast episode. Host Howard Megdal is joined by The Next‘s Atlanta Dream beat reporter Gabriella Lewis. The two discuss the piece, along with other vital Atlanta contributors like Allisha Gray and Rhyne Howard, and look at the road ahead for the Dream in a 2023 WNBA season filled with high expectations.
Gabriella talks about the Dream’s culture this season:
“Yeah, the vibes are different this year in a lot of ways. I mean, first of all, people came into training camp this year knowing something about Coach Wright knowing something about the system, whereas last season, there were starting from absolute zero. I asked almost every single player, what are your personal goals? And what are your team goals and winning was basically was a team goal and for most playoffs, at least stating that. And so last year, there were zero expectations on this team if they won any game, which they did quite a few, especially right off the bat. It was like, oh my God, the Dream won, how exciting.
Whereas this year, there’s more expectations. You don’t have the same expectations as the Aces do, but you obviously have a level of, they’re different, they’re going to win, they added some important pieces. And so I think great expectations can sometimes be a little scary, right? They’ve only won one game this season. And I think there’s a little bit of a different vibe, at least from this coverage standpoint of last year, even when they were losing, was like, okay, that’s kind of what you’re expected. And now it’s a little bit different.”
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Gabriella talks about Haley Jones‘ transition to the pros:
“Yeah, so Haley Jones gets drafted No. 6 to the Atlanta Dream. Renee Montgomery, on draft night, said to me, Haley Jones was on my Christmas list. So they were very excited to get her. She comes out of Stanford. She went to Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose. And the person who also went to Santa Archbishop Mitty was Danielle Robinson and Robinson, an 11-year vet was up on the wall at Mitty all of Haley’s career and Haley talked to me a lot about this; she would look up every day; she think icon. Oh, my God, that’s the OG Mitty great.
And I asked her at that moment, could you ever imagine maybe sharing a locker room with her and Haley said to me I didn’t even think about playing pro till we won a championship. And so I think there was no expectation that they would be together. But Danielle Robinson said to the media a couple of weeks ago that every time she was home, she tried to make it to a Mitty game. She tried to play pickup with Haley, she tried to really push her and so I think neither of them really expected maybe that they’d be together, but it’s a really beautiful story of seeing the icon up on the wall every day in practice, and then now you’re on the court with them.”
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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.
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