McCoughtry to miss at least part of Dream's 2017 season

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ATLANTA (AP) Atlanta Dream star Angel McCoughtry said she will sit out an undetermined portion of the 2017 season.

McCoughtry said in a letter released by the team she needs rest after playing ''a continuous year-round schedule with no offseason'' in Europe and the WNBA for eight straight years. The two-time U.S. Olympian averaged 19.5 points last season to lead Atlanta to the second round of the playoffs.

She did not say if she might return at some point in the season. The top pick in the 2009 draft is an unrestricted free agent so potentially wouldn't have to even return to Atlanta when she decides to start playing again, although she has ties to the area as she is opening an ice cream store in the city this spring.

Team president Theresa Wenzel said in a statement the Dream ''respect her decision and look forward to her return.''

McCoughtry isn't the first WNBA star to take time off. Diana Taurasi missed the entire 2015 season to rest. Candace Parker took off the first part of that season as well to let her body heal.

''I know it is a very difficult decision that Angel is making but is one she has to make for herself,'' Dream coach Michael Cooper said. ''As head coach of the Dream, I'll continue to strive to put the best players on the court as we move towards bringing a championship to the city of Atlanta.''