Courtesy: Duke Sports Information Release: 04/14/2012
BDN+ Premium Content
ATLANTA, Ga.— Atlanta Dream center and Duke alum Alison Bales has announced her retirement from the WNBA in order to attend medical school and pursue a career as a physician.
“I want to thank everyone in the Atlanta Dream organization as well as the entire city of Atlanta for giving me some of the best memories of my career,” said Bales. “While basketball will always be one of my passions I have decided that it is time to pursue my other goal. I will soon be applying to medical school in order to begin the exciting yet arduous process to become a physician.”
Bales, a 6-7 center, played four seasons in the WNBA after an impressive collegiate career at Duke University. She was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever where she played her first season before being acquired by the Dream via trade midway through the 2008 season. Bales was one of the only remaining Dream players on the roster from the team’s inaugural season.
“Ali will always be a part of our Atlanta Dream history and I am very grateful for all the work she put in to help our team,” said Dream Head Coach & General Manager Marynell Meadors. “She was an unselfish player and great teammate who performed whatever role we asked of her. On behalf of the entire Atlanta Dream organization, we wish her well as she pursues her dream of attending medical school and know she will find success in her new path.”
Bales was part of the Dream’s turnaround as the team advanced to the WNBA Finals in 2010 and 2011. She appeared in all 34 games both seasons, including 15 games started in 2011. A defensive presence inside, she averaged a team-best 1.6 blocks per game and added 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last season. Bales finished her WNBA career averaging 4.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.
The Atlanta Dream tips off its fifth season this summer at Philips Arena as part of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the world’s longest-running women’s professional sports league. The Dream, the defending two-time, back-to-back Eastern Conference Champion, will host a preseason game on May 5 against the Tulsa Shock at 2 p.m. The Dream opens its regular season home schedule on May 25 against the New York Liberty at 7:30 p.m. Season and group tickets are on sale now and single game tickets go on sale April 16. For more information, visit www.AtlantaDream.net or call (877) 977-7729.