Dream sign Holdsclaw to multiyear deal

ATLANTA -- Chamique Holdsclaw has returned to the WNBA.

The seven-time All-Star signed a multiyear deal Monday with the Atlanta Dream, who continue to revamp their roster following a 4-30 campaign during their inaugural season. Details of the contract were not released.

Holdsclaw, who retired from the WNBA in 2007, attended some of those games last season. She said Dream general manager/coach Marynell Meadors spoke to her after one about returning to the league. Holdsclaw, who lives in Atlanta, said the fan support made her "hungry" again and the thought of playing at home was appealing.

"The players played hard last year, but I thought sometimes they lacked the confidence," said Holdsclaw, who said at least two other WNBA teams had approached her about coming out of retirement. "There were a lot of young players but no veteran leadership. It's all about bring the commitment and confidence to the basketball court."

The 31-year-old Holdsclaw retired after seven seasons in the WNBA. She played five games with the Sparks in 2007 and averaged 15.8 in those contests. For her career, the forward averaged 17.7 points and 8.3 rebounds a game.

Holdsclaw, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist, has been playing recently in Poland before having knee surgery about five months ago. She says her knee is about 85 percent and that she should be ready by the regular-season opener at home against Indiana on June 6.

Meadors says the 6-foot-2 forward will provide a winning attitude.

"I looked at our players we've had to let go and the ones we've added to our team and it's a transformation of something that's really going to be good for the Dream," Meadors said.

The Dream have also signed several other veterans, including Michelle Snow, Nikki Teasley and Sancho Lyttle. Atlanta has revamped a roster that set a league record for losses to begin the season, losing 17 in a row to start the 2008 campaign

Meadors said Holdsclaw won't play many minutes at the start of the season. She said the Dream's younger players, like recent No. 1 pick Angel McCoughtry, can feed off Holdsclaw's winning nature.

"I've told all the rookies and younger players that they need to be a sponge and listen to what see says. Just watch her," Meadors said. "She's a phenomenal athlete. Just a great basketball player."