Atlanta, Washington to play WNBA exhibition game in Eblen Center May 9

Dream coached by Marynell Meadors;
Atlanta roster features UT stars Holdsclaw, Snow


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – There will be a distinctly local flavor when the Atlanta Dream and the Washington Mystics play a WNBA exhibition game in Tennessee Tech’s Eblen Center on Sunday, May 9, the first professional basketball game played in the arena.

Tipoff for the Mother’s Day contest is set for 3 p.m.

Atlanta head coach Marynell Meadors established the Tennessee Tech women’s basketball program and served as head coach for 16 years, recording more then 350 career victories on her way to being inducted in the TTU Sports Hall of Fame.

Her Dream roster features two former University of Tennessee standouts, Chamique Holdsclaw and Michelle Snow.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to host this event and to bring a WNBA game to this area of Tennessee which is so tradition-rich in women’s basketball,” said Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics.

“It’s an opportunity for us to welcome back Marynell Meadors as well as host a professional women’s basketball game,” Wilson said.

While the WNBA regular season schedule was previously announced, the league announced the preseason exhibition schedule Thursday.

In her second season as General Manager and Head Coach of the Dream, Meadors was named the WNBA Coach of the Year last season. Prior to joining the Dream, Meadors spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach for the Washington Mystics. She has also spent time with the Charlotte Sting and the Miami Sol of the WNBA.

Meadors was a head coach at Tennessee Tech and Florida State for a combined 30 years. She was the first head coach in Tech history, establishing the women’s program and posting a .723 winning percentage. She was twice named OVC Coach of the Year, leading Tech to four Ohio Valley Conference championships and was the first major women’s college coach to win 350 games at one school.

“This will be a special game for our team and our staff, not only because of my connections with Tennessee Tech but because several players on our roster have ties to the area and have played here before,” Meadors said. “For me, it will be a really nice experience to walk out of the tunnel and onto the floor of Eblen Center in front of the fans that have given me so many wonderful memories.”

In addition to Holdsclaw and Snow, a few other names on the Dream roster should be familiar from recent games against Tennessee Tech including Ivory Latta of North Carolina, Angel McCoughtry of Louisville and Coco Miller of Georgia.

First-year Golden Eagle coach Sytia Messer said she and the team are also excited about the game, not only for the chance to watch the Dream and Mystics, but to renew some old friendships.

“This game is going to be fun, not only for fans throughout the region but for our staff and players,” Messer said. “These are some of the best women’s basketball players in the world, and to have the chance to see them playing on our home floor is something special.”

One of the highlights of Messer’s career as a player at the University of Arkansas was holding Holdsclaw to five points as the Razorbacks upset the Lady Vols in an NCAA Tournament game.

“It was an exciting time, and I definitely remember that game,” Messer said. “We’ve talked several times since then and we’re still friends. I’m looking forward to seeing her again.”

While WNBA fans come from a wide range of demographics, the games are especially popular with women’s basketball players of all ages. Tech and coach Messer are extending a special invitation to girls playing on teams throughout the region.

“We’re placing a special emphasis on inviting girls basketball teams of all ages, from youth teams to elementary school teams to high school teams to come to this game and watch these players,” Messer said.

The Mystics will also bring a powerhouse lineup to Eblen Center, including players out of the top college programs in the nation, headlined by Alana Beard from Duke.

Reserved seat tickets for the game are $10 each, and specially discounted tickets are also available including a Mothers’ Day Family 4-Pack for $30, a savings of $10.

Tech students, faculty and staff may purchase tickets for $5 each. Group tickets are also available for all basketball teams including youth, elementary school and high school teams for $5 each when bought in advance. Tickets for the game are being sold through the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940. Tickets may also be purchased online (click here) at TTUsports.com.

For additional information on ordering tickets or on the discounts available, contact the TTU Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center.