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GB's women line-up WNBA team Atlanta Dream

By Jessica Creighton
Olympic sports reporter

Johannah Leedham
Leedham hopes to be part of the GB team to play against Atlanta Dream

GB Basketball have announced a high-profile home friendly game for the women's team against Women's NBA team Atlanta Dream on 29 May.

The tie, to be played in Manchester, will be the first match in Europe to involve a team from the WNBA.

The announcement follows world governing body Fiba's decision to grant GB Basketball host nation places for the 2012 Olympics.

"It will be a huge test for our team," 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."

After a successful 2010 campaign the GB women's team, coached by Tom Maher, qualified for their first European Championship tournament, EuroBasket 2011.

They will make their debut appearance at an Olympic Games next year.

Atlanta Dream were runners-up in last season's WNBA Finals after only their third year in the league.

Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry said: "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 match-up is part of a collaboration between Manchester City Council, the WNBA and NBA to organise live games in the city to promote basketball in the UK.

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see also
GB teams to play at London 2012
13 Mar 11 |  Basketball
Basketball boss upbeat on GB bid
04 Mar 11 |  Basketball
BOA backs GB Basketball for 2012
02 Mar 11 |  Basketball
NBA stars to play in Manchester
28 Feb 11 |  Basketball

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