- Created on 18 June 2013
The Atlanta Dream announced Tuesday that it has signed veteran free agent center Ruth Riley, a former WNBA All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist. Riley will join the first-place Dream (6-1) to fill the roster spot vacated by Sancho Lyttle, who has been temporarily suspended while competing for the Spanish National Team in France.
Riley is a 12-year veteran who most recently played for the Chicago Sky during the 2012 season. A two-time WNBA Champion with Detroit (2003, 2006), Riley has averaged 6.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over 371 games during her career.
"I'm extremely excited to join the Dream," said Riley. "They are off to great start and it's awesome to be joining such a good team. I've been blessed to be on a few championship teams in the past, and I look forward to bringing that experience to Atlanta. I hope to help bring a championship to the Dream as well."
"Ruth is a veteran with tremendous leadership qualities - both on and off the floor - that will blend in well with the talented team that we have," said head coach and general manager Fred Williams. "She's a post player that has the ability to shoot from the outside, is a strong rebounder and can alter shots. She brings a wealth of basketball knowledge to our team, and is also a great ambassador for the league, having been all over the world giving back through her foundation."
Riley was named a WNBA All-Star during the 2005 season, when she averaged 7.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for Detroit. She had averaged a career-best 11.1 points and 5.9 rebounds the previous season, and in 2003, she was named the WNBA Finals MVP after averaging 14.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 blocks against Los Angeles.
Riley began her career with the Miami Sol in 2001, and played there for two seasons before spending the next four seasons (2003-06) in Detroit, helping the Shock to four straight playoff appearances. She then spent five seasons (2007-11) in San Antonio, making five more playoff appearances, before spending the 2012 season with the Sky.
Riley was a two-time First Team All-American at Notre Dame and led the Irish to the 2001 National Championship after winning the Naismith Award and Associated Press Player of the Year Award that season. In 2004, she helped Team USA win an Olympic Gold Medal in Athens, Greece.
In addition to her basketball skills, Riley has won several awards for her community service efforts, including the WNBA's Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award in 2011 and the Rotary Club of Tulsa's Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award in 2010.
- Created on 18 June 2013
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE Three sports radio hosts from Atlanta's 790 The Zone's "Mayhem in the AM" have been fired after mocking former New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason during an on-air segment. Gleason, who is 36 years old and confined to a wheelchair, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Rick Mack, the 790's senior vice president and general manager, issued a statement on the station's website apologizing for the segment. In the statement, Mack highlights the disciplinary action being taken against hosts Steak Shapiro, Chris Dimino and Nick Cellini.
"We deeply regret the offensive programming that aired this morning on 'Mayhem In The AM' on 790 The Zone, related to former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason and his battle with ALS," the statement said. "We suspended the three individuals involved immediately following their comments and have since terminated their employment. 790 The Zone, our owners, sponsors and partners in no way endorse or support this kind of content. We sincerely apologize to Mr. Gleason, his family and all those touched by ALS."
The three hosts mocked Gleason Monday by employing a robotic voice, similar to the one Gleason operates using his eyes in order to speak, and answered questions in a mock interview setting.
According to WWLTV in New Orleans, which picked up the story from a post at TigerDroppings.com, the hosts used knock-knock jokes in the segment, joking about whether Gleason would be alive and using the robotic voice to ask the hosts to "smother [him]." At one point, the host speaking for Gleason wondered if he would be alive on Thursday and finished the segment by saying "I'm going to hell."
Listen to the full segment here, via WMTI-FM in New Orleans.
Gleason is best known for blocking a punt during the Saints' first home game following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2006. New Orleans went on to upset the Atlanta Falcons, and a statue commemorating his play now serves as a permanent symbol of the city's recovery.
(Photo: Former Saints Joe Horn (L) and Michael Lewis (R) pose with Steve Gleason. (USATSI))
- Created on 17 June 2013
The woman whose false rape accusation sent a high school football star to prison has been ordered to pay a $2.6 million judgement in connection to the case, NBC 4 Los Angeles reports.
Wanetta Gibson was ordered by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Friday to pay a $1.5 million, plus an...
- Created on 17 June 2013
AtlantaDream guard/forward Angel McCoughtry has been named the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the second time during the 2013 season, the league office announced Monday. McCoughtry won the inaugural award for the current season just two weeks ago.
McCoughtry led Atlanta to victories over Seattle and Chicago last week as the Dream improved to a league-best record of 6-1. In the two games, McCoughtry averaged 23 points on 50 percent shooting, 7.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 4.0 steals and 2.5 blocks.
On Friday against Seattle, McCoughtry led Atlanta in points, rebounds, assists and steals during a 68-59 victory. She totaled 23 points, nine boards, seven assists and five steals in the contest.
Two days later in a battle for first place in the East against Chicago, she poured in 23 points with six rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists while setting a career high with four blocked shots in an 88-74 victory.
McCoughtry, who earned the ninth Player of the Week award during her career, is currently ranked second in the league in steals (3.6), fourth in assists (5.0), fifth in scoring (19.4) and 13th in rebounding (6.4).
Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi was named the Western Conference Player of the Week.
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Chicago's Elena Delle Donne, New York's Cappie Pondexter and Washington's Crystal Langhorne in the East, as well as Los Angeles' Kristi Toliver and Nneka Ogwumike, Minnesota's Lindsay Whalen and Seattle's Tina Thompson in the West.
- Created on 17 June 2013
It seemed like only yesterday Atlanta fans were cheering the names of John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Andruw Jones and Chipper Jones, but those names have been replaced by a new crop of players from the Braves' farm system.
Fans are now accustomed to hearing Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, Freddie Freeman, Andrelton Simmons and Evan Gattis, who all came through the ranks of the developmental process. After yesterday's performance in the series finale against the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, we can add Julio Teheran to that list. Teheran (5-3), who made his major league debut this season at the age of 22, had a lights-out performance Sunday, pitching six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts on 94 pitches.
The Braves edged out San Francisco 3-0, pushing them to 13 games over .500 and Atlanta's general manager Frank Wren attributes the team's success to the young talent on the field.
"Unlike other organizations, we are not afraid to bring young players up into the big league and I think that is why we have been so successful," Wren said. "If a player shows us talent we will bring him from AA right up to the majors."
Age doesn't define maturity and the 2013 Braves are a prime example. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Braves lead the National League with 11 players on the active roster that are 25 years old or younger.
"We are never going to have a high payroll like the Yankees, so we have to rely on our system to produce quality players," Wren said. "We rely on our scouts to bring in the type of players we look for."
Gattis was one of those players that the Braves' scouts picked up seemingly out of the blue and the results have been shocking. Gattis has already been named the National League Rookie of the Month twice and leads all rookies in home runs, RBI and extra base hits.
The former janitor who spent a few months living in his pickup truck was drafted by the Braves on his grandfather's birthday. After spending a year with the AA Mississippi Braves, Gattis was called up to the majors.
"This team is a testament to great scouting and I was happy [Atlanta] selected me, it's my grandfathers favorite team and I'm just blessed and happy to be a part of this clubhouse," Gattis said. "I can't say enough about the organization."
Simmons, another Braves' prospect who was awarded a National League Rookie of the Month award in his first season, scored the game-winning run in Saturday's victory and the first run of Sunday's game, giving the Braves an early 1-0 lead.
"Sometimes I look around and feel I don't deserve to be here but it is great being a part of this ball club it's one of the best clubhouses ever," Simmons said. "They really emphasis on discipline and the Braves are really good at developing players. I mean, look at how many good players they produce."
With the Braves building a healthy 6.5 game lead in the N.L. East, it's looking like this Atlanta team has the young talent to compete for years to come.
And who knows, maybe this core group of young athletes has a player in its midst that can hang their jersey in the rafters next to Smoltz, Maddux, Glavine or Jones.