ATLANTA – The Atlanta Dream have acquired second-year center Kalani Brown from the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for Brittney Sykes and Marie Gülich, the team announced Monday.
Brown, a center from Louisiana, was drafted seventh overall by the Sparks in the 2019 WNBA Draft out of Baylor University. She played in 28 regular season games, averaging 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per contest. Her best performance of 2019 came against Atlanta on July 23, when she scored a season-high 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
“Kalani was a player we targeted as an organization as a key piece to the puzzle,” Head Coach Nicki Collen said. “While Kalani’s size is important on the boards and around the rim, she also has the ability to consistently step outside the lane and hit the face up shot. In a league full of exceptional centers, we believe we have added a player who has all the tools to be very successful in our system. We are excited to welcome Kalani Brown and the entire Brown family to the Dream.”
Welcome to the 🅰️, Kalani!
📰 https://t.co/D0UkLifRSj #OneCityOneDream pic.twitter.com/QRAoElUWbH
— Atlanta Dream (@AtlantaDream) February 10, 2020
Standing at 6-7, Brown instantly becomes the tallest player on the Dream’s 2020 roster. She has suited up for Xinjiang Magic Deer of the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association this offseason, averaging 24.8 points and 11.2 rebounds in 28 contests. Brown was shooting an impressive 67.8% from the field and playing 29.3 minutes a game before the WCBA paused its season due to the Coronavirus.
“For us, this was a question of giving to get, and we need the size and skill that Kalani brings to the Dream,” President and General Manager Chris Sienko said. “We are in the midst of making changes to compete with the best in the league, something our fans and this city deserve.”
Prior to being drafted, Brown led the Baylor Bears to the 2019 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. She finished her illustrious collegiate career ranked in the Bears top five in numerous categories including points, blocks, field-goal percentage, double-doubles free-throws made and field-goals made. She was named a three-time WBCA All-American and a two-time Second Team AP All-American.
Sykes was drafted by the Dream with the seventh overall selection in the 2017 WNBA Draft and went on to play three seasons in Atlanta. She played a total of 97 games (57 starts), averaging 11.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 24.2 minutes per game.
Gülich was acquired by Atlanta in a draft day trade with Phoenix in 2019, when the Dream sent their 11th overall selection, Brianna Turner, to the Mercury. Gülich played in 31 games with one start last season, averaging 2.7 rebounds in 11.2 minutes per game.
“We are grateful for what Brittney and Marie have contributed to our organization and wish them success in Los Angeles,” Sienko said.
TRANSACTION: Atlanta Dream trade Brittney Sykes and Marie Gülich to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for Kalani Brown.
2020 Dream season and group tickets are on sale now. Visit www.atlantadream.net or call 877-977-7729 for more information.
The Atlanta Dream will tip-off their 13th season in the WNBA on May 15, 2020. Atlanta holds the No. 4 pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft. The organization, who will play its home games at the Gateway Center Arena @ College Park, has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in nine of its first 12 seasons.