Saturday, August 19, 2017

UMMC Yekaterinburg's Leuchanka joins Atlanta Dream

The Atlanta Dream has re-signed UMMC Yekaterinburg center Yelena Leuchanka to a multi-year contract.

Leuchanka, the first Belarusian player in the WNBA, returns to the league after taking the year off to play for the Belarusian national team, WNBA.com reports.

In 2010, the 6-5 center helped the Dream capture its first Eastern Conference championship, appearing in 32 regular season games and averaging 4.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game off the bench. She also played in all seven postseason games.

"It's always nice to come back to the team where you know the players and coaches and are familiar with the style of play," Leuchanka said, according to WNBA.com. "I hope we can continue to build and compete for a WNBA title. Atlanta is not an underdog anymore, and I am happy and privileged to be part of the team again."

Leuchanka previously played with the Charlotte Sting in the WNBA in 2006 and the Washington Mystics in 2007.

She spent most of her playing career in Europe and was the leading scorer for the Belarusian team in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The team did not qualify for the 2012 games in London.

Leuchanka led the Belarusian team to fourth place at the FIBA World Championship in 2010, and was honored as a member of the All-Star Five at the World Championship and named to the 2011 EuroLeague All-Star team.