Renee Montgomery Talks About Transitioning From Player To Co-Owner Of Atlanta Dream

She’s the first former player to be a co-owner and executive of a WNBA team.

Retired WNBA star Renee Montgomery says she has a responsibility as the first former player in the women’s professional basketball league to be both a co-owner and executive of a WNBA team.

"It's super humbling because when you're the first, that means people are going to look to see, well, 'How did that go? Well, she's the first.' You're almost the test, the experiment or the blueprint," Montgomery told PEOPLE.

"For me, I take it as a responsibility because I want to make sure that it goes really, really well so that people can understand that, yeah, this should be a progression for athletes," the former Minnesota Lynx and Atlanta Dream player added.

In February, the two-time WNBA champion became part of a three-member ownership group that received approval from the league to purchase the Atlanta Dream, according to Sports Illustrated.

“I’m now the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, and I’m so excited,” she said in an Instagram post.

"For me, it's exciting because it's hard for me to turn off the player mindset,” she told the magazine. “Even though I'm an executive and a vice president, I'm always going to be a hooper at heart."

She continued, "It's so different. On the executive side, we love sports. When you're an athlete, we love sports, and so you get excited for the sports side of everything. But when you're on the executive side, you have to do the business part of sports."

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Montgomery, 34, sees a role for athletes to deliver change in sports and business in the WNBA and the NBA.

"You've studied the game. You've learned the game. You love the game and the organization. The next step of progression should be: you go to the front office, you go to be an executive or you take one of those leadership roles. I don't know why it's not happening," she said.

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