Basketball Unlimited Athletes – Everything we know about the new Women’s Professional Basketball League
In October, Athletes Unlimited (AU) announced plans to launch a new women’s basketball league early next year. Athletes Unlimited on Monday revealed the launch dates for the first season, which will take place in Las Vegas in early 2022.
A few 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 abroad in the winter months since the league began in 1997. The AT League is not expected to compete with the high salaries of the major leagues overseas in European and Asian countries. But Cloud said that still, the CAF 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 would be a perfect fit,” Cloud said in October. “We can stay here, it’s going to be very 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 games will be played at the same place in the city. The first season of the league will take place from January 26 to February 26, 2022, at the Athletes Unlimited Arena in the Las Vegas Sports Center, located approximately two miles from the Las Vegas Strip.
Who are the players that will compete in the new league?
The Athletes Unlimited Basketball League will feature 44 players all competing in the same city. On Monday, the league announced that it will conduct trials on December 11 and 12 in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and also announced the acquisition of 10 new players.
The league’s most recent commitments include current WNBA players Courtney Williams, Odyssey Sims and Tyana Hawkins, who played for the Atlanta Dream last season, Indiana Pfeiffer’s Jantel Lavender, and Seattle Storm’s Micah Herbert Harrigan, who missed last season due to maternity leave.
Essence Carson, the 13-year-old WNBA veteran who won the WNBA title with Lavender in Los Angeles in 2016, also joined the league. Other signings are former James Madison player Kirby Burkholder, Tess Knox (Texas A&M), Jessica Koster (Rice), and Lauren Mincy (MD), all with professional experience overseas.
When the league was announced in October, it was revealed that Cloud and fellow former WNBA players Sidney Coulson and Ty Young were the first three players to sign with the CAF League.
What is the shape of the league?
The basketball league will have the same model that Athletes Unlimited uses in other women’s professional basketball, volleyball, and lacrosse leagues, and the format places more emphasis on measuring individual player success.
There are no specific owners, general managers, or teams. Instead, players start on four different teams wearing different colored uniforms and assigning captains. Players score points based on their teams’ scores and individual stats. 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 format of Athletes Unlimited: every week a new team plays with – as well as against – some of the best players in our sport. I hope this is an option that can be an option for basketball players for many years to come.”
At the end of the season, there is a total points winner.
How can we watch the matches?
Athletes Unlimited Basketball is expected to announce its broadcast schedule in December.