ATLANTA, March 26, 2014 - The WNBA Atlanta Dream announced today that the team has re-signed All-Star center Erika de Souza. Per team policy, contract terms were not disclosed.
" We are excited to have Erika back," said Dream Executive Vice President and General Manager Angela Taylor. " Re-signing Erika was a priority this off-season because she is one of the best centers in the world and will be a key part of our championship efforts this year & in the future. Her veteran leadership, competitive nature, and passion for the game are valuable assets to the Atlanta Dream franchise."
The six-foot, five-inch de Souza has been with the Dream since the team's initial season in 2008, and is the team's all-time leader in games played (161), rebounds (1,371) blocked shots (232), field goal percentage (.539) and double-doubles (58). For her career, she has averaged 10.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in eight seasons in the WNBA.
De Souza had the best season of her career in 2013, averaging career highs in points (12.9), rebounds (9.9) and blocks (1.8) while being named to her second All-Star team. She led the league in double-doubles with 18, and ranked third in rebounds, fifth in field goal percentage (.553), sixth in blocks and 12th in steals (1.3).
De Souza broke her own team records for double-doubles, rebounds (337) and blocks (61) in a season last year, and set a franchise mark with six consecutive double-doubles from July 9-Aug. 3. She was named to the league's All-Defensive Second Team, and helped lead Atlanta to its third Eastern Conference Championship in four seasons.
In each of the last five seasons, de Souza has averaged at least 11.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. Her career field goal percentage of .537 ranks third in WNBA history among players with at least 1,000 career field goal attempts.
A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, de Souza has represented her home country in the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. She averaged team bests of 16.2 points and 8.8 rebounds at the 2012 Games, ranking second in rebounding and tied for second in scoring among all players during pool play.
The three-time Eastern Conference Champion Atlanta Dream tips off its seventh season in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) on May 16 against the San Antonio Stars in Philips Arena. The Dream has qualified for the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, including conference titles in 2013, 2011 and 2010. Season tickets for the 2014 season are now available and can be purchased by calling (877) 977-7729 or visiting www.AtlantaDream.net.