Tanisha Wright and Dan Padover selected Haley Jones, Laeticia Amihere and Leigha Brown in their second Draft with Atlanta
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ATLANTA, Ga. (April 10, 2023) – The Atlanta Dream selected guard Haley Jones with the No. 6 overall pick, Laeticia Amihere with the No. 8 pick, and Leigha Brown with the No. 15 pick (second round) Monday night in the 2023 WNBA Draft.
“We targeted two players at 6 and 8 and feel very fortunate to have landed both of them,” said General Manager Dan Padover. “Haley has played at an elite level her entire life and is a versatile guard who will complement our backcourt in a variety of ways. Laeticia is a unique talent with endless potential, and we are looking forward to seeing her growth at the pro level. Leigha is an ultra-competitor who can play multiple positions. We are excited that this year’s draft will bring another influx of youth and excitement to this roster.”
No. 6 – Haley Jones
Guard | 6’1” | Stanford | Santa Cruz, Calif.
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Jones, a four-year starter for Stanford, finished her career in Palo Alto averaging 13.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. She helped lead the Cardinal to an NCAA Championship in her sophomore season and won the Most Outstanding Player nod after defeating current Dream guard Aari McDonald and the Arizona Wildcats with 17 points and 8 rebounds in the championship game.
“We’re excited to have Haley as a part of the Dream,” head coach Tanisha Wright said. “Haley is somebody who we know is a good kid and she is going to be a great culture fit here. She shows extreme versatility in her game, has the ability to play multiple positions and does a lot of different things well while also making others around her better.”
The 6-1 guard averaged career-high numbers across the board in her senior season with 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 0.9 steals in 35 games. A first team All-American and Pac-12 Co-Player of the Year in 2022, Jones also helped lead the Cardinal to three-straight regular season Pac-12 titles and two conference tournament championships. Jones also helped lead Team USA to a gold medal at the FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2018, where she was named to the All-Star Five along with current Dream forward Iliana Rupert, who was representing France in the tournament.
No. 8 – Laeticia Amihere (luh-TEE-shuh ah-ME-hear)
Forward | 6’4” | South Carolina | Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
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Amihere comes to Atlanta from Columbia, South Carolina, where she averaged 6.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in four years for Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks. She closed out her college career with her best offensive season, averaging 7.1 points on 48.7 percent shooting as a senior. She helped lead the Gamecocks to three NCAA Final Four Showings, including the 2022 National Championship, along with three SEC regular season championships and three SEC Tournament titles.
“Laeticia’s size and athleticism are going to translate very well and will turn her into a long-term player in this league,” Wright said. “Her work ethic and willingness to come in and get better are really going to make her a special player for us. We are excited to have her here in Atlanta and are looking forward to watching her grow.”
With the Canadian National Team, Amihere was a member of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament team that went 3-0 and secured Canada’s third consecutive Olympic appearance – making her the first Gamecock women’s basketball player to compete in an Olympics during her college career. She has competed with Team Canada since 2015, when she was named to the cadet national team that won Canada’s first ever gold at the Under-16 FIBA Americas Championship.
Amihere is now the second Gamecock on the Dream’s preseason roster, joining guard Allisha Gray in Atlanta this summer.
No. 15 – Leigha Brown (LEE-uh)
Guard | 6’1” | Michigan | Auburn, Ind.
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Brown joins the Dream after three years at Michigan, where she averaged 16.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 72 games. She put up career-high numbers in the 22-23 season, averaging 5.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists as Michigan advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
“There’s a toughness and a tenacity about Brown that I really like,” Wright said. “She plays with a chip on her shoulder and isn’t afraid to go to battle – that mindset will give her an advantage as she comes in every day and competes for us.”
Prior to her time with the Wolverines, Brown was named the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year as a sophomore with Nebraska. She averaged 14.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in her second collegiate season, producing double figures 23 times, including eight 20-point games.
Brown is the second Wolverine on Atlanta’s preseason roster, joining her former Michigan teammate and current Dream forward Naz Hillmon in Atlanta this summer.
About the Atlanta Dream
The Atlanta Dream is a professional women’s basketball team based in Atlanta, Ga. that strives to build a place where our team, our fans and our city come together to represent the community we seek to serve. We celebrate diversity, represent Atlanta, reward innovation and imagination, and aim to empower women both on and off the court. The team currently plays home games at the Gateway Center Arena @ College Park and has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in nine of its first 15 seasons. To learn more about the Dream and purchase 2023 season and group tickets, please visit dream.wnba.com/tickets or call 877-977-7729.