Former WNBA Player Alana Beard Joins Efforts To Bring Expansion Team To Oakland

Former WNBA Player Alana Beard Joins Efforts To Bring Expansion Team To Oakland

former WNBA player, Alana BirdJoin the effort to bring an expanding team of WNBA to Auckland, it was announced Thursday. The 14-year-old WNBA veteran will partner with American Sports and Entertainment Group (AASEG) in the quest to form a new franchise.

Beard, the second overall pick from the 2004 draft, knocked out by Duke, played six seasons for Sophia Washington Then another eight with Los Angeles SparksWith whom he won the league championship in 2016.

“As a professional athlete who has transitioned into business, I realize now more than ever the importance of a great team and strong partnerships,” said Bird, 39, who moved to the Bay Area to work in venture capital after retirement. At the end of the 2019 WNBA season. “I’ve always fantasized about owning a WNBA team. It made sense for us to come together to be partners in this.”

The WNBA, who just completed the 25th. season, has 12 franchises. He hasn’t had an expansion team since then Atlanta Dream in 2008. The Dream, which sold out in February, has another former WNBA player, Renee Montgomery, as part of your own group of owners.

“It was something I really liked,” said Bird, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and four-time WNBA All-Star. “Congratulations to Renee and the other women who are pursuing this same dream.”

It was one of the original eight franchises in 1997 in Sacramento, but that team was disbanded after the 2009 season. The Bay Area has seen a potential for expansion ever since. The short-lived NBA Women’s League had a team in San Jose in 1996-1998, and was the league champion Stanford Cardinal They are time and time again one of the top women’s college basketball programs in the country.

Beard appeared on a video call Thursday with Oakland Deputy Mayor Rebecca Kaplan and others who support bringing a franchise to Oakland, including Gina Johnson Lillard, the mother of a Los Angeles shooting ranger. Portland Trail BlazersAnd Damian Lillard, and director of the Western District for the Mothers of Professional Basketball.

“Black women’s leadership here is incredible,” said Alicia Garza, co-founder of the international movement Black Lives Matter. “WNBA, we definitely need you and we want you in Auckland. This project ranks on every level in terms of my values ​​and the things I prioritize.”

The AASEG said the Oakland City Council, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the Combined Forces Authority Committee had approved a path for a team to play at the Oakland Arena, which was home to the Golden State Warriors Between 1971 and 2019. The WNBA said it had no statement in Thursday’s announcement from the Oakland group. authorized Kathy Engelbert Tell ESPN By the middle of this month, the league hopes to expand in the next five years.

“We’re doing all that data mining right now,” Engelbert said. “I think by next summer or at this point next year, during our 26th season, we’ll be talking about the number of teams and a list of where they are.”

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Oliver Walton

"Pro alcohol addict. Bacon scholar. Award-winning beer fan. Gamer. Social media expert. Zombie guru."

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