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Reaching for the Sky

July 31, 2006

ATLANTA – After arriving on the Flats in mid-June to begin her first season of work with the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team, Coretta Brown, a former All-ACC standout at the University of North Carolina assumed that her days of playing for the WNBA this season were over. Then came the call from the WNBA expansion team, Chicago Sky.

“Prior to arriving at Georgia Tech, I knew that there was a possibility of getting a call to come play for a team,” began Brown, “but after a few weeks, when I had no calls, I just figured that I wouldn’t be playing ball this year. And then to get that call while I was already in Atlanta was surprising, but I just thought, `wow, this is happening.’ So I packed up my things and went to Chicago.”

And the Sky have reaped the benefits of the four-year WNBA veteran. Playing in her first game with the new team on July 7, Brown tallied a pair of rebounds and two assists, and over the last week, the 2003 UNC graduate has averaged almost four points a game (including a season-high nine points against the Shock this past weekend) while shooting over 50 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Although the Sky are most likely out of contention for playoffs, Brown has enjoyed her time in Chicago.

“I knew things would be a little different with this being a new franchise and all,” said Brown. “I also knew that it would be a learning experience because there were no returnees, but I’m really excited to be here because people in Chicago are so thrilled to have a team. The fans are unbelievable supportive, and it kind of reminds me of being back in Indiana, where the fans are die-hard basketball fans.”

Brown began her career with the Indiana Fever, averaging over six points per game in her first season while playing more than 17 minutes per contest, before being let go following the final preseason game in 2006. Through it all, however, the former first-round draft pick feels that she is in the right place playing for the Sky.

“The city of Chicago is beautiful in the summer, and I am having a ball here,” said Brown from her cell phone on the way to the arena for tonight’s game against New York. “I just signed by third seven-day contract two days ago, and would have to assume that I’ll be able to finish out the season here.”

When the season ends in mid-August, the Statesboro, Ga. native will return to Atlanta to continue her role as an administrative assistant in the women’s basketball offices at Georgia Tech.

“Coretta has been such a great addition for our staff and team, and we look forward to having her back at Tech in the fall,” said Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph.

Ultimately, Brown is hoping to break into coaching, but knows that her competitive streak may keep her coming back to the court as a player until she is forced to hang up the shoes.

“While I am looking at getting into coaching, I know that I will always have that competitive side that says I can still play. Right now, I’m just enjoying being here and playing in Chicago, but I am also looking forward to my return to Georgia Tech to begin working on the upcoming season.” Overall, this summer has been pretty awesome for me, so I can’t complain.”

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