ATLANTA, Ga. – Georgia Tech recognized a familiar name as the Atlanta Dream announced its 2023 start of season roster on Thursday, which included Yellow Jacket standout Lorela Cubaj.
Cubaj was drafted in the second round (No. 18 overall pick) of the 2022 WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm, and was acquired by the New York Liberty via trade, to become the ninth overall Yellow Jacket selected in the WNBA Draft in program history. Cubaj played in 11 games with the Liberty, averaging 8.0 minutes and 2.1 rebounds per game. She returned to Atlanta in March signing a training camp contract with the Dream after playing with Umana Reyer Venezia.
The Terni, Italy, native helped lead Georgia Tech to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 2021 and 2022, and finished a storied collegiate career on The Flats as a two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year (2021, 2022). She was paramount in Tech’s second-ever run to the Sweet 16 in 2021 and capped her collegiate career as a two-time WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America honorable mention. Additionally, Cubaj was an all-ACC first team selection and all-defensive team honoree. She was also named the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Women’s College Player of the Year in 2021 and 2022 and was one of four finalists for the 2022 Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.
The Yellow Jacket standout finished her collegiate career with 1,293 career points and 1,265 career rebounds to become the program’s all-time leading rebounder. She started 149 games and appeared in 153 (a program best), while averaging a double-double her final two seasons.
The Atlanta Dream open the 2023 season on Saturday, May 20 taking on the Dallas Wings in Texas. The 2023 season will mark the 16th season in the WNBA for the local professional organization that is led by second-year head coach Tanisha Wright.
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.