In October, Athletes Unlimited (AU) announced plans to launch a new professional women’s basketball league early next year. On Monday, Athletes Unlimited revealed its dates for the first season, which will be played in Las Vegas in early 2022.
A handful of current and former WNBA players, including Natasha Cloud of the Washington Mystics, will compete in Athletes Unlimited Basketball, which will feature 44 players in a month-long season.
Most of the WNBA players have competed overseas in the winter months since the league began in 1997. The AT league is not anticipated to compete with the high salaries of top overseas leagues in European and Asian countries. . But Cloud said that still, the AU league is a good alternative for American players who would rather spend the winter in the United States.
“I think the WNBA and Athletes Unlimited will be a perfect fit,” Cloud said in October. “We can stay here, it will be super competitive basketball, and we don’t have to be away from our families for several months.”
Here’s everything we know so far about Athletes Unlimited Basketball.
When and where will the new league compete?
All matches will be played at the same location in a city. The league’s first season will be played from January 26 to February 26, 2022, at the Athletes Unlimited Arena at the Sport Center of Las Vegas, located approximately 2 miles from the Las Vegas strip.
What players will compete in the new league?
The Athletes Unlimited basketball league will have 44 players all competing in the same city. On Monday, the league announced that it will hold tryouts on Dec. 11 and 12 in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and it also announced 10 new player acquisitions.
The most recent commitments to the league include current WNBA players Courtney Williams, Odyssey Sims and Tianna Hawkins, who played for the Atlanta Dream this past season, Jantel Lavender of the Indiana Fever, Mikiah Herbert Harrigan of the Seattle Storm, who missed. this past season for maternity leave.
Essence Carson, a 13-year WNBA veteran who won a WNBA title with Lavender in Los Angeles in 2016, has also joined the league. The other signings are former James Madison player Kirby Burkholder, Tyce Knox (Texas A&M), Jessica Kuster (Rice) and Laurin Mincy (Maryland), all with professional experience abroad.
When the league was announced in October, it was revealed that Cloud and fellow former WNBA players Sydney Colson and Ty Young were the first three players to sign with the AU league.
What is the format of the league?
The basketball league will have the same model that Athletes Unlimited uses in its other professional women’s softball, volleyball and lacrosse leagues, and the format is more focused on measuring individual player success.
There are no specific owners, general managers, or teams. Instead, the players start in four different teams that wear different colored uniforms and have assigned captains. Players score points based on their teams’ results and their individual statistics. At the end of each week, the top four players on the points table become captains and re-select their teams.
“Athletes Unlimited provides American players with an additional opportunity to play in the United States,” Lavender said. “We are also looking forward to participating in the unique Athletes Unlimited format: every week a new team, playing with – as well as against – some of the best players in our sport. I hope it is something that may be an option for basketball players for many years into the future. “
At the end of the season, there is an overall winner by points.
How can we watch the games?
Athletes Unlimited Basketball is anticipated to announce its broadcast schedule in December.
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What we know about the new professional women’s league: Athletes Unlimited Basketball