Athletes Unlimited revealed plans to start a professional women's basketball league in the first quarter of next year. Athletes Unlimited revealed the dates for its first season on Monday. It will take place in Las Vegas in early 2022.
A few former and current WNBA players will participate in Athletes Unlimited basketball, which will include 44 players over a month.
Since 1997, most WNBA players have played overseas during the winter months. The AU league cannot compete with the salaries in the top leagues in Europe and Asia. Cloud stated that the AU league was still a viable alternative, particularly for American players who prefer to spend winter in the United States.
Cloud stated in October that "I believe the WNBA will mesh perfectly with Athletes Unlimited." Cloud stated that "We can remain here, it will still be very competitive basketball, and we don't have to be away for many months."
This is everything we know about Athletes Unlimited Basketball.
Where and when will the new league compete in the future?
All games will take place at the same venue in one city. The first season of the league will be played at the Athletes Unified Arena at the Sport Center of Las Vegas. It is approximately 2 miles from the Las Vegas Strip.
What players will be competing in the new league
The Athletes Unlimited basketball league will feature 44 players competing in the same place. The league announced Monday that it will host open tryouts in Atlanta on December 11-12, as well as 10 new player acquisitions.
Current WNBA players Courtney Williams and Odyssey Sims have made commitments to the league. They also include Jantel Lavender from the Indiana Fever and Mikiah Harrigan of the Seattle Storm, who was on pregnancy leave and did not play this season.
Essence Carson is a 13-year WNBA veteran who won a title in the WNBA with Lavender in Los Angeles 2016 and has also joined the league. Other signings include former James Madison player Kirby Burkholder (Texas A&M), Jessica Kuster(Rice), and Tyce Knox (Texas A&M), all of whom previously played professionally abroad.
Cloud, Ty Young and Sydney Colson were the first to sign with the AU league when it was announced in October.
What format is the league?
The model that Athletes Unlimited uses for its professional softball, volleyball, and lacrosse leagues will be used in the basketball league. However, the league's focus is more on individual player success.
There are no general managers, owners or teams. Instead, players are assigned captains and wear different uniforms. Based on the team's results and individual statistics, players compile points. The top four points-setters at the end of each week become captains, and they repick their teams.
Lavender stated that Athletes Unlimited gives American athletes an additional chance to play in the United States. "I also look forward to the Athletes Unlimited format, where every week there is a new team and they play with -- and against -- some the best players in the sport. It's something I hope can be an option to women's basketball players in the future.
There is an overall winner at the end of each season.
How can we watch the games?
Athletes Unlimited Basketball will announce its broadcast schedule in December.