WATCH: Catching up with Atlanta Dream All Stars

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 21: Layshia Clarendon
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 21: Layshia Clarendon /

The Atlanta Dream contributed three players to the 2017 All-Star Game. Layshia Clarendon, Elizabeth Williams, and Tiffany Hayes all made their first All-Star appearance in Seattle. This marks the first time since 2014 the Dream sent three players to the midseason exhibition game. Three years ago, Shoni Schimmel, Erika DeSouza, and Angel McCoughtry were Eastern Conference starters.

Schimmel went on to drop a record 29 points and win All-Star MVP honors in her first All-Star appearance. “That did cross my mind a couple of days ago,” Clarendon told The Summitt ahead of the 2017 All-Star Game. She admitted that although the expectation is not to go 100% speed, she still hoped to contribute, “I’m thinking [I’ll be on the] Tamika Catching side of it – she was like 95% (laughs) … we’ll see when we get out there.” Clarendon finished her first All-Star appearance with 14 points and 10 assists.

“The atmosphere was crazy, the fans were cheering for us, even though they were most[ly] for the West,”  Hayes told The Summitt.  All-Star East starter Tiffany Hayes dropped 12 points in front of a crowd of 15,221 on hand for the 13th WNBA All-Star Game. 

Now that the festivities have come to a close in the Emerald City, both players are eager to return to Atlanta and make a second half push.  “What I hope to happen is that we do come together and we stay consistent,” said Hayes.  “We’ll have really great games and then we’ll have really bad games. So, we just have to stay consistent with the really great games we have and put them together.”  

Clarendon agreed, “We gotta start winning some games … our focus moving forward is just to keep growing but we know the clock is gonna start ticking.”  The five year WNBA veteran expects the team to continue developing chemistry and getting all players to contribute. With a 9-11 record, the Dream currently occupies the final of eight playoff spots (9-11) in the new postseason format.

Losing Angel McCoughtry for the season is an adjustment, the Dream – led by their three All-Stars – have no desire to make it a setback.  Atlanta returns to action Tuesday, July 25 when they host the Phoenix Mercury.  The game is the first of a three-game home stand against top five teams in the league.

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