WNBA Players Napheesa Collier and Breanna Stewart Planning Woman's U.S.-Based League During Offseason

WNBA Players Napheesa Collier and Breanna Stewart Planning Woman’s U.S.-Based League During Offseason

Two current WNBA players are starting their own basketball league for other players to participate in when the season is over.

According to ESPN, Minnesota Lynx forward Napheesa Collier and New York Liberty forward Breanna Stewart have exclusively told the media outlet that there are plans for a new basketball league. The league will give players the opportunity to stay in the United States instead of having to go overseas to make money in the offseason.

The women’s basketball league will be called Unrivaled and will be played from January through March. The plans are to feature 30 of the top professional women’s players on six different teams playing 3-on-3 basketball as well as one-on-one at a venue located in Miami, FL.

“It’s the ability for players to stay home, to be in a market like Miami where we can just be the buzz and create that with the best WNBA players,” Stewart told ESPN. “We can’t keep fighting [the WNBA’s prioritization rule]. It is a rule that takes away our choices, which should never be a thing, especially as women, but it is still a rule.”

The intention of the league is to provide the women (during the offseason) with money through private funding and sponsorships that they would have to travel overseas to make. The WNBA has a new league rule that stipulates that players have to return back to the States from overseas by the start of WNBA training camps.

Typically, the women’s basketball leagues overseas are still playing games through mid-May. But, that overlaps with the start of the WNBA season.

Stewart started talking to Collier and her husband, Alex Bazzell, about starting a women’s league in the United States during the WNBA offseason.

“We went to dinner in New York and [Bazzell] was explaining the idea of being a part of this league where it’s like you’re on an all-digital basketball court, you’re playing 3-on-3, one-on-one, queen-of-the-court type thing where you hold bragging rights, but also make a salary that’s kind of set in stone but also can always grow bigger,” Stewart said.

“We’ve all been talking and realizing that we’re missing a moment, having a lot of our players be overseas or not playing basketball [during the offseason]. … I think top players, they want to be playing, right? They want to be home, they want to be playing, but it has to make sense. It has to be right and the money has to be right. And I think that’s what Unrivaled is trying to do.”

Stewart and Collier have stated that they’ve assembled a team of business and sports industry leaders from various companies such as Twitter, DAZN, the WTA, and WWE to help launch the league next January.

WNBA Players Napheesa Collier and Breanna Stewart Planning Woman’s U.S.-Based League During Offseason

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