Atlanta Dream center Erika de Souza will miss the remainder of the WNBA Eastern Conference Finals the team announced early Saturday morning.
De Souza, who recorded eight points and 13 rebounds in game one on Thursday against the Indiana Fever, will join the Brazilian national team in Columbia for the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship for Women. The tournament takes place from September 24 through October 1 and is a qualifier for the 2012 Olympics. It is a single-elimination tournament and de Souza is expected to return to the Dream immediately following play.
The Fever hold a 1-0 lead over the Dream in the best-of-three conference finals series. Indiana defeated Atlanta 82-74 on September 22 in Indianapolis. The Dream, the defending Eastern Conference Champions, host game two on Sunday, September 25 at 3 p.m. ET.
Game three (if necessary) will be played in Indiana on Tuesday, September 27. The 2011 WNBA Finals, a best-of-five series, begin on October 2.
De Souza, a 6-5 center, averaged 11.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks during the regular season. She appeared in 32 games, starting all of them. This year in the playoffs, de Souza is averaging 12.0 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Other centers on the team include Alison Bales, a 6-7 center who averaged 3.3 points per game during the regular season. Bales, a Duke graduate, had three points and seven rebounds against Indiana in game one.
The Dream also added 6-4 center Courtney Paris to their roster on June 18. A former University of Oklahoma standout, Paris appeared in 33 games for the Sacramento Monarchs in 2009, averaging 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. She was in training camp with the Los Angeles Sparks during late spring but was waived before the regular season began. Paris did not play in game one.