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Two Atlanta Dream players sidelined by COVID-19 for season opener

Brown and Johnson will miss Sunday's season opener against the Dallas Wings at the IMG Academy complex in Florida.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Two Atlanta Dream players, center Kalani Brown and forward Glory Johnson have tested positive for COVID-19, just ahead of the team's season opener against the Dallas Wings.

The team announced on Friday that Brown and Johnson had tested positive during the initial quarantine period after the team traveled to the IMG Academy complex in Bradenton, Fla., where the WNBA is hosting all of the players and games for the 2020 season under strict quarantine.

Both women are now in self-isolation off the IMG Academy property under the care of physicians and will miss the start of the 2020 season.

“On Thursday, July 9th I tested positive for COVID-19, four days after arriving at IMG and while in quarantine in preparation to play this WNBA season,” Brown said. “While I am feeling better now, my symptoms have been challenging, ranging from headache, to sore throat, chills/shivers, body aches, muscle aches, fatigue, difficulties with taste, and shortness of breath."

Johnson said she had tested negative for COVID-19 several times previously before she tested positive for the virus.

"About two weeks ago, I had tested positive for COVID-19, even after testing negative several times prior," Johnson said. "Since then, I have been isolated outside IMG Academy and in quarantine. I am fine and have had no symptoms since testing positive. While in quarantine, I have focused on my self-care and resting my body for the upcoming season. I will be back on the court soon."

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According to statements from the team, they said the safety and health of Brown and Johnson is the highest priority to the organization and they are looking forward to them rejoining the active roster when it is safe for them to do so.

“I am still quarantined and unfortunately will be missing the start of the season as I continue to fight this virus and hopefully fully recover," Brown said. "I am really looking forward to my first season with the Atlanta Dream, and cannot wait to join my teammates on the court once my health allows me to.”

Brown joined the Dream from the Los Angeles Sparks, where last season she contributed 144 points in 28 games, averaging 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, shooting 47.8 percent from the field. She scored a high of 12 points twice -- in games against Las Vegas on June 27 and Atlanta on July 14. In that same Atlanta game, she snagged a season-high eight rebounds.

The basics

  • What: Dallas Wings vs. Atlanta Dream (WNBA opener)
  • Where: IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
  • When: Sunday, July 26, 5 p.m.
  • TV: CBS Sports Network

Before that, she played on Baylor's 2019 NCAA national championship team.

Johnson is a seven-year veteran WNBA player, drafted by the Tulsa Shock in 2012. The two-time WNBA All-Star has spent her entire professional career with the team, moving with them in 2016 from Tulsa to Dallas when the team was renamed the Dallas Wings.

The revitalized Atlanta Dream starts the 2020 season on Sunday afternoon when they host the Dallas Wings.

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Only two players from last year's team -- Monique Billings and Elizabeth Williams -- have returned to the Dream's roster for the 2020 season.

Along with Brown and Johnson, during the off-season, Atlanta picked up other young talents including Blake Dietrick, Jaylyn Agnew and Erica McCall. Plus they signed a strong group of WNBA veterans that included Shekinna Stricklen, Alexis Jones, Courtney Williams and Betnijah Laney.

All of the Dream's 22 games of the abbreviated 2020 season will be played at the IMG Academy complex in Bradenton, along with the entire WNBA slate. Each of the games will be played without fans.

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